Energy supply

Energy supply – being self-sufficient

Hydroelectric power

Neudorff Energy supply

Our administrative offices are housed in an old mill building. One “leg” of the building sits in a branch of the small Emmer River. A powerful turbine in the building produces 1,000,000 kWh of energy a year from hydroelectric power. Thus, we produce more than three times as much energy as we need in a year!

Solar power

We have installed a solar power system on the roof of our production building in Lüneburg, which we use to heat water. This means that in summer we save 100 % of the energy we need, and over the year we save up to 5,500 kWh of gas. Near Hamelin we have installed a solar power system on the roof of our experimental nursery. Thanks to the photovoltaic system, we have been able to save 18 % of energy across the working area. There is an additional solar power system on the roof of a production hall, which produces some of the energy needed there. In total, we produce around 75,000 kWh of energy from our solar power systems.

Waste heat biogas plant

The experimental nursery consumes heat energy, because unfortunately the sun alone is insufficient to heat the greenhouses. We use the waste heat from a nearby biogas plant for this purpose. We are able to meet 80 % of the heat demand in this way. 

Wind gas

We have been using wind gas rather than natural gas to cover the remaining 30 % of the experimental nursery's heat demand since April 2012. This involves a new technology.
But what is wind gas? Wind turbines sometimes produce more electricity than is needed. To store this power hydrogen is produced using electrolysis. This hydrogen is then processed and fed into the gas distribution system. Thus, the surplus energy is stored and can be used to produce heat.  Wind gas is a storage technology that saves valuable resources, making it another small step towards sustainable energy use. 

Energy from renewable sources

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It is not always possible to produce energy ourselves so sometimes we have to purchase some to make up the shortfall. For these instances we use power from the energy supplier Naturstrom AG, because they only supply energy from renewable sources. Both use 100 % power from water, solar, wind and biomass. What impresses us about this supplier is the fact that Naturstrom invests directly in the construction of new power stations to produce renewable energy. Given that we use eco-power in all of our locations in Germany, our production will be practically CO2 neutral in terms of electricity from 2014 on. So we think there are many reasons to switch to electricity from regenerative sources!

Our own combined heat and power plant

Since November 2013 we have been producing energy for our plant in Lüneburg in our combined heat and power plant. These systems use the principle of co-generating heat and power.
They produce electrical energy and heat at the place where the thermal energy is consumed. It is driven by a six cylinder gas engine whose exhaust heat is used for the drying process in slug pellet production.
In 5,000 operating hours the combined heat and power plant generates 350,000 kWh of electricity per year, and this not only cuts our costs, it also eases the strain on the power grid.  We use the 550,000 kWh of thermal energy obtained to to dry our slug pellets.

Carbon Foot Print

With the assistance of TÜV Nord (Technical Inspection Agency/Germany) we have created a carbon foot print for the whole company. It is more laborious than you might think to record and evaluate all energy flows and consumptions within the company. We can only document and evaluate the changes over the years once we have recorded the actual situation.