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CCIB Generates its Own Energy by Installing a Wind Turbine

The Barcelona International Convention Centre (CCIB) has installed a 1kW vertical-axis wind turbine on its north-eastern roof in order to generate its own energy. The project was jointly developed with the engineering company Virtus Nova Enginyers which, after analysing various other systems, opted for a mini urban rooftop wind turbine. Of the different types they looked at, they decided on the silent Technowind vertical-axis wind turbine, designed and manufactured entirely in Catalonia by the Catalan company Ficosa.

Philippe Mesnard, Facility and Maintenance Director of the CCIB, said: “Apart from choosing the most efficient system and the one best suited to the characteristics of our facility, we also wanted equipment that was manufactured in Catalonia, in order to avoid the carbon footprint involved in buying a product from another country and transporting it here.”

Another advantage to installing the turbine is that the energy produced is integrated into the Centre’s existing power grid, which will now be supplied by two different sources. Mesnard said:  “The scalability of the system allows us to incorporate new wind turbines in the future so that we can continue to contribute to energy self-sufficiency, which is one of the goals of the city of Barcelona.”

This is the latest in a series of measures recently implemented by the CCIB, which include the replacement of 172 fluorescent tubes with LED tubes, thus reducing energy consumption by a fifth; the optimisation of lighting controls by means of a computerised monitoring system; and installation of presence sensors in technical areas where there is less frequent traffic of personnel.

Each year the CCIB calculates the carbon footprint of its activities and offsets it by purchasing carbon credits (CER) from projects that comply with the standards of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Centre offers all its clients the same carbon footprint calculation service, encouraging them to contribute to the compensation of emissions and to develop clean-energy projects.

Environmental protection is a priority objective for the Centre, which carries out its activities in accordance with ISO 14001:2004 and EMAS standards and audited by TÜV Rheinland. The CCIB’s Managing Director, Marc Rodríguez said: “One of the criteria that is becoming a deciding factor for organisers of major international events when choosing a venue is, precisely, the good use of renewable energy and respect for the environment.”

The CCIB is one of the first convention centres in Europe to implement a system for the selective collection of post-exhibition carpet to be recycled into fuel for the cement industry, in addition to its comprehensive system for sorting and treating waste by using special recycling bins throughout the entire complex.