EnercitEE partners got informed on sustainable mobility, renewable energy production and traditional activities in the Ravenna area

In July 2013 a delegation of EnercitEE project partners visited Emilia-Romagna/Italy and its best practices in the area of Ravenna. To begin with, the delegation was traveling on board Mhybus, an innovative bus fuelled by a blend of 85% methane and 15% hydrogen, which allows significant savings in fuel consumption and reduction of CO2 emissions. This bus is the focus of the LIFE+ project Mhybus, which involves the Region, ASTER, SOL S.p.A. and START Romagna. The goal of the project is to increase efficiency and sustainability of public transport by using hydromethane for public transport vehicles. The bus has now travelled for more than 45.000 km without technical problems, demonstrating that the use of hydromethane is feasible, and is now close to the definitive authorization to circulate with hydromethane.

With Mhybus, the delegation reached the hydromethane fuelling station, designed and built within the premises of the hydrogen production plant of SOL S.p.A. in Ravenna. Here, a guided tour on the plant’s facilities and performances took place, highlighting the efficiency of the processes taking place at the plant. The visit proceeded to the research laboratories of Tozzi TRE, a company focusing on energy production from renewable sources: hydroelectric, wind, solar and biomasses. The research and development laboratory in Mezzano works on technological upgrades in renewable energy production and on hydrogen production and storage technologies. The delegation was shown some of the developed products: an hydrogen fuelled electric bicycle and special dye-synthesized photovoltaic cells, transparent to sunlight.

Finally, the delegation visited Prato Pascolo, one of the largest photovoltaic plants in Italy. The project aims at joining sustainable energy production with the territory’s specific traditional vocation: the photovoltaic plant, one of the largest in Italy, with an area of 71 ha, is also a sheep grazing area. The photovoltaic plant produces 42 million kWh/year which are fed into the grid. This amount covers the demand of more than 10.000 families. If the same energy was produced by fossil fuels, about 23.000 tons of CO2 would be emitted.

While the sheep contribute to the maintenance of the grass field below the panels, these create large shade areas for the animals. Next to sheep breeding, cheese is manufactured on site following traditional recipes: breeding and handmade cheese manufacturing respect biological agriculture criteria. The EnercitEE partners were given a small tasting session of the types of cheese produced and sold on site, which concluded the short tour through the best practices of Emilia-Romagna in Ravenna.