Daimler Truck

On the roofs of the plant in Woerth

19.06.2024 | Sustainability

We are working on making our production environmentally friendly and reducing CO2 emissions as well as resource consumption. As part of this, we are focusing in our plants on renewable energies. Photovoltaic systems are installed on the huge roof areas of our production site in Woerth, with which the plant is driving forward the path to a sustainable production. We take a look behind the scenes and find out who is responsible for the installation of these panels.

Sonja Grote and Matthias Bick, both from the Woerth facility management and infrastructure department, take a look at the modules with us and let them explain how they helped to set up the photovoltaic system, what hurdles there were to overcome, and what personal drive they both brought to the project.

We meet Matthias Bick, responsible for energy management at the Woerth site, and Sonja Grote from the facility management team, who both welcome us very warmly. Both were instrumental in getting photovoltaic systems installed at the Woerth plant. In conversation, we quickly notice that it was not just a matter of "ticking off" another project for them, but that it is also a personal concern of theirs to drive forward the area of sustainable energy generation.

Continuing to push energy savings

"In recent years, the idea of sustainability has become more and more important," Matthias Bick tells us. "As part of this, workshops have been offered in Woerth in order to identify energy savings in operations and to avoid waste." The economic viability of photovoltaic systems at production sites was also analyzed. Matthias Bick accompanied this project from the very beginning.

In November the first modules of the photovoltaic system were lifted onto the roof of Hall 61a. "Everything was put in place so that we could install all the modules on the 6 roofs by the end of 2022. We're talking about over 6,000 modules, which was a huge logistical task. In these times, there was a truck on every vacant spot on the plant site due to supply problems. Everyone from plant security, affected production areas, installation and construction companies supported us to achieve this goal", says Matthias Bick. Matthias has already been with Daimler Truck for 27 years and did his apprenticeship here. After a stopover in production, he switched to power supply maintenance and has been responsible for energy management at the Woerth site since 2015.

In our energy team, there is a permanent will to see where energy can be saved.

Matthias Bick, Electric Supply & Communication Network Wörth Plant

Why are not all roofs equipped with photovoltaic systems yet?

"Unfortunately, not all roofs are suitable for photovoltaic systems," notes Sonja Grote. Some buildings are too old or elsewhere the roof structure does not allow PV installation. Here in Wörth, because of the foil roofs, they decided against a construction that is anchored into the roof and in favor of a module construction in which the modules are screwed together and laid down on the roof to form a large, wind-proof surface. Sonja Grote has been with the company for eleven years and is responsible for building and office management. She is active in the fields of feasibility studies, construction site management and project management, which is how the collaboration with Matthias Bick on this project came about.

With regard to the installation of new PV systems, one must also consider the halls themselves. Questions arise there, such as: What is the load-bearing capacity of the roofs? Are there ceiling cranes hanging from the ceilings? That, in turn, affects the load-bearing capacity of the roof areas. "But it is also important to consider whether a roof will have to be renovated in the near future, because then the installation of the systems is not yet worthwhile," states the colleague, who is enthusiastic about the multifaceted nature of her work in the company and who visibly enjoys working there.

Several systems have now been installed at the Wörth plant. One of these systems is a PV carport system installed above an employee parking lot near the plant entrance at Gate 1. In addition to generating electricity, it provides a weather-protected parking space on the plant grounds.

"Overall, the photovoltaic systems generate an energy output of just over 4000 kWp. The amount of electricity produced can supply approximately 1,000 single-family homes," Matthias Bick explains to us.

Significant contribution to alternative energy generation

But what exactly does the photovoltaic system at the Wörth plant do and what contribution does it make to energy generation at the site?

Photovoltaik at Wörth plant

The photovoltaic systems have an installed power of 4,000 kWp.
All systems combined will produce approximately four million kWh of electricity per year.
With the Wörth plant's electricity requirement at 115 million kWh, the photovoltaic systems cover around 4 percent.

"Four percent doesn't sound like much at first, but it's the first right step," says Matthias Bick.

Sonja Grote and Matthias Bick also try to live more sustainably in their private lives

For both, however, sustainability does not stop at the factory gate. Although both have already had a lot to do with the sustainable design of the plant in their professional lives, they both emphasize that it is above all the small steps that everyone can take for more sustainability in everyday life: Sonja Grote, for example, prefers to ride her bike from home toward town or to the bakery. She also thinks it's important to be more aware of packaging, which can help contribute to sustainability.

Matthias Bick tries to use his way to work as much as possible for other errands. He would also like to buy a balcony power plant for his home to generate green electricity himself. Sonja Grote would tell other employees to "start with small things" if they want to try to live more sustainably.

If Sonja Grote had to give her job a book title, it would be "there's always something to do, let's do it" and Matthias Bick adds: "Employees usually come to us with problems and we then try to solve them, so that fits quite well.

The employees of the Woerth facility management and infrastructure department are already working on other projects. For example, the inbound logistics for the Wörth plant are to be electrified and e-charging stations are being installed for this purpose "so that the freight forwarder who supplies us has the option of charging his electric truck with us," explains Matthias Bick. "Real sustainability is happening here at the site," adds Sonja Grote. 

We leave the roof and make our way through the factory hall back onto the site. From here, the photovoltaic systems on the roof are no longer visible. But that's not a problem: "In two or three years, when you look at the site from space on Google Maps and see the photovoltaic plants from a bird's eye view, that's definitely a reason to be proud," says Matthias Bick. There is nothing more to add to this and we say goodbye to an exciting insight into a great sustainability project.

Sustainable production at Daimler Truck

We are working on further reducing CO2e-emissions and resource consumption in our production. From 2021 to 2023, we reduced our CO2e-emissions in production by 23.8%, among other measures, through the use of renewable energies and efficiency improvements. With the installation of photovoltaic systems at the Wörth site, we are taking an important step to further reduce CO2e-emissions in production.

Further information can be found under Sustainability | Daimler Truck. In line with the topic of this article, you will also find an overview of one of our key topics under Green Production | Daimler Truck.