Albufeira invests in energy efficiency and in reducing polluting emissions

City Council advances with investments on several fronts

Installation of photovoltaic solar systems in municipal buildings, schools and sports equipment, reinforcement of the municipal fleet with electric vehicles and installation of public access charging stations, as well as replacement of public lighting and equipment with LED technology. These are some of the measures implemented by the Municipality of Albufeira to increase energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions in the municipality.

But the dream of the Mayor of Albufeira does not stop there and goes through, in the future, “to provide the municipality's public transport network (GIRO) with buses powered by non-polluting energy”, which is not yet possible.

“Energy efficiency and environmental sustainability are an investment in the future and the Municipality of Albufeira is well aware of their importance”, says José Carlos Rolo.

During November, the municipality connected photovoltaic panels, installed in the parking lot of the municipal building in Vale Pedras.

The system is part of a broader set of investments aimed at improving the municipality's energy efficiency, through "a clear commitment to clean technology that allows us to reduce electricity consumption and, consequently, our ecological footprint, with a substantial reduction of CO2 production”, says José Carlos Rolo, who also highlights the annual savings in electricity costs as a great advantage.

It is a shading installation for vehicles, with coverage of 312 photovoltaic solar panels for the production of energy for self-consumption, which will allow the supply of the Vale Vedras Administrative Building, Municipal Offices, Kennel, as well as the other facilities in the complex existing buildings next to municipal warehouses.

The system, with a total cost of more than 150 thousand euros, has an installed capacity of 103kWpeak and an estimated average production of 500kWh/day (total), 180MW per year.

With the installation of these panels, the Municipality will achieve an average monthly savings of 1.500 euros – approximately 50 to 70% of the total invoice value – which represents an annual gain of 18 thousand euros. In terms of environmental impact, 42 tonnes less CO2 will be produced.

The buildings of the EB1 School and Kindergarten in Vale Pedras, as well as the EB1 in Olhos de Água, are also equipped with photovoltaic systems for self-consumption.

The three pieces of equipment installed, worth approximately 60 thousand euros, consist of a set of 40 panels of 300Wpeak, an estimated average production of 50kW/day (total) and an estimated annual production of 18MW.

In economic terms, they will allow an average monthly savings of 200 euros – approximately 40 to 60% of the total invoice value. In terms of environmental impact, it allows the reduction of 5 tons of Co2.

The Municipal Swimming Pools are also equipped with a photovoltaic system installed on the roof for self-consumption. These are 200 panels of 335Wpeak, which will allow an estimated average production of 400KkWh/day (total) – 150MW annually, an average monthly savings of 1.400 euros (30 to 40% of the total invoice value) and a reduction in CO2 of 45 tons. The investment is around 100 euros.

In 2020, in addition to the installation of the aforementioned photovoltaic systems, all schools in the municipality saw their fluorescent lamps replaced by new LED technology lamps. In total, around 5 thousand LED lamps were installed, an investment of around 15 thousand euros, which allows for a reduction in energy consumption by close to 60%.

In terms of sports equipment, in the Municipal Swimming Pools, the lighting in the main nave was completely replaced by LED technology.

The work, which was carried out by technicians from the municipality, with a total cost of 46.789,12 euros, allows for energy savings of 40% on the invoice amount, with significant improvements in lighting levels.

Also at Estádio da Nora, in Ferreiras, the total lighting on the pitch was replaced by LED technology. The contract, with an estimated value of approximately 74 thousand euros, will allow a reduction in energy consumption costs, in the order of 50%, with an environmental impact in terms of CO2 reduction of around 7 tons.

Public lighting is also one of the main priorities of the municipality. Thus, in the areas of the Old Center, Cerro da Alagoa, Fort São João, Malpique, Páteo, Vale Faro and Vale Mangude, as well as on the main roads (EN395, Estrada de Albufeira, Estrada das Fontainhas, Estrada dos Brejos, Estrada de Vale Pedras, and some sections of Av. dos Descobrimentos) have already started to replace 2500 luminaires with LED technology.

This is an investment in the total amount of 674.960,30 euros, which corresponds to the first phase of the contract to increase energy efficiency in the municipality's public lighting network. The work is part of the comprehensive replacement plan for all lighting fixtures in the city.

The second phase (in the contracting process) provides for the replacement of 1050 more luminaires. In total, the works in progress and those that are about to start, involve a series of interventions in the municipality's public lighting network, worth approximately one million euros.

The objective is to replace the entire old public lighting system in the urban center of Albufeira, from the Marina to Balaia, passing through Alto dos Caliços and Montechoro.

In the future, the measure is expected to be extended to other parishes, in partnership with EDP.

Mayor José Carlos Rolo underlines that “the investment will allow the municipality an annual saving of around 167 thousand euros with the added advantage of reducing CO2 emissions by around 356,16 tons per year”.

With regard to the municipal vehicle fleet, the Municipality "has been gradually converting part of the internal combustion vehicles (end-of-life vehicles) to electric vehicles, which contributes to the promotion of sustainable mobility", through more efficient use of energy, reduction of polluting emissions and noise reduction.

At the moment, the Municipality of Albufeira already has a total of 12 “environmentally friendly” vehicles and is expanding its electric vehicle charging network through the installation of seven more public payphones in different areas of the municipality.

Four charging stations are also installed and another one is about to go into operation.

President José Carlos Rolo stresses that “we are investing in the future, as electric vehicles are three times more efficient than traditional combustion engines, which allows us to save on average approximately 10 euros/year and reduce emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere by approximately 27 tonnes per year”.