The observatory faces a energy transition project whereby, in order to reduce the ecological footprint, partially replace its traditional sources with renewable ones by employing biomass and solar energy
The center faces a considerable energy demand derived from its situation in the high mountains and its technological characteristics, with which in the coming months it will undertake a project financed with Feder Funds to constitute an "energy island" from which to self-supply at least partially, as it has been transferred in a note.
"Due to the particular characteristics of the surroundings surrounding professional astronomical observatories, electricity and fuel costs are high," explained the director of the observatory and principal investigator of the project, Jesús Aceituno.
With the implementation of the "energy island" of Calar Alto, the center aims to be a "world benchmark" for other professional observatories as a management model that helps the environment, "with an estimated reduction of 160 tons of carbon dioxide and the consequent optimization of associated costs."
The project proposes the installation of a biomass boiler to replace the use of diesel for heating and hot water, from a solar energy production system and the replacement of the observatory's vehicles by electric cars.
The use of biomass will suppose a annual savings of 33.000 euros with respect to the current cost, which will add to the savings that self-consumption will entail through the photovoltaic plate system, which will cover the needs of the facilities in the daytime periods, the most expensive of the energy rates.