Mabru: home to the biggest photovoltaic panel system in Brussels

On January 24, almost 8,000 photovoltaic panels were commissioned in the presence of Philippe Close, Mayor of the City of Brussels; Marion Lemesre, Alderwoman for Economic Affairs of the City of Brussels; Michel Barnstijn, Chairman of Mabru; and Philippe Van Troeye, CEO of ENGIE Benelux.

The Early Morning Market Brussels (Mabru) opened up its roof for ENGIE to install the largest photovoltaic (PV) panel system in the City of Brussels, and one of the largest in the entire Brussels-Capital Region. With a surface area of over 13,000 m² and capacity of close to 2.2 MW, these panels will generate over 2 million kWh each year, equal to between 25 and 30% of the site’s consumption. This amount corresponds to the annual consumption of nearly 600 households and cuts CO2 emissions by 830 tonnes per year.

The PV installation offers Mabru local, green energy while making the most of the large roof surface of its Brussels site.

Following its successful launch on the retail market in August 2016, in late 2016 ENGIE launched a PV tender geared towards Belgian companies, and created a new subsidiary, ENGIE Sun4Business, to this end. By late 2017, it had already contracted or installed 10 MW of PV capacity, and intends to install 60 MW by 2020.

ENGIE Sun4Business is a partnership between ENGIE Electrabel and Orka, a Belgian company that has already rolled out dozens of projects related to solar energy in Brussels and Flemish companies. ENGIE Sun4Business financed the Mabru investment through the third-party investor system, meaning that Mabru will benefit from the electricity generated by the panels free of charge and will own the facilities after 10 years. ENGIE Fabricom, a subsidiary of ENGIE, installed the solar panels and will be in charge of their maintenance.

Philippe Van Troeye, CEO of ENGIE Benelux, says: “The facility we are commissioning at the Early Morning Market Brussels today is a tangible expression of ENGIE’s strategy for tackling the challenges of what is now known as the energy revolution. In a nutshell, the strategy is rooted in 4 ‘Ds’: decarbonisation, which means generating ever-greener energy; decentralisation, which means generating power as close to our customers as possible; decreased consumption through energy efficiency; and digitisation, which enables us to make energy consumption increasingly smarter and more connected. To achieve this goal, we count on the complementary talents of ENGIE’s 17,000 professionals in Belgium active in the generation and sale of energy, as well as in energy efficiency services. All this means that we are in an excellent position to offer the best solutions to our customers, as we are doing today for Mabru.”

Michel Barnstijn, Chairman of the non-profit association Mabru, adds: “Wanting to reduce our environmental footprint, we decided to call on ENGIE Sun4Business. The professional qualities of this partner fulfilled our expectations. Solar energy is an inexhaustible energy source that is still untapped. Use of our buildings’ roofs has become necessary, which is more profitable. The installation of these 7,988 solar panels at Mabru by ENGIE Sun4Business will cover 25 to 30% of the site’s electricity consumption, thus giving the Early Morning Market a new vision when it comes to energy, one that is aware of the future of the generations to come.”