Showcase renewable energy project by Tirol Milch in cooperation with Stadtwerke Wörgl wins award Tirol Milch Wörgl is Europe's most sustainable dairy!

The "Energy Globe Award for Sustainability" is regarded as one of the world's most important and prestigious environmental awards. At a press conference on Wednesday, 3 May 2017, Deputy Governor Josef Geisler presented Tirol Milch with the Energy Globe Tirol 2017 for its innovative heat recovery project in cooperation with Stadtwerke Wörgl [Wörgl Municipal Utilities]. The energy from heat no longer required in production, which was previously just blown away, can now be used to supply the equivalent of 640 households.

"Tirol Milch is committed to using energy in a way that conserves resources. In addition to financial aspects, careful and economical use of all sources of energy is an integral part of our corporate culture," explains Gen.Dir. DI Josef Braunshofer, CEO of Tirol Milch. In spite of huge investments to increase energy efficiency and utilise renewable energy sources at the Wörgl site, such as by constructing a biomass heating plant and installing a photovoltaic system, a substantial amount of low-temperature waste heat with tremendous unused energy potential was still available. For the diverse heating processes involved in milk processing, a temperature level of over 60-70°C is required, which is achieved by means of a biomass furnace. The waste heat from these processes has a much lower temperature, so it cannot be used economically on site. "The realisation that energy is available, but cannot be used sufficiently in-house, gave us the idea to seek other opportunities for energy utilisation," explains Braunshofer.

The company not only found an understanding ear at Stadtwerke Wörgl, but also someone who could fall back on the unused energy. "Tirol Milch guaranteed Stadtwerke Wörgl that they would make energy and space available.

"Both sides had to make compromises in order to generate a win-win situation. The energy generated from waste heat is completely production-dependent, while we must supply our customers with heat constantly and consistently. These two contrary goals had to be reconciled – and we managed it," said a delighted Herbert Altendorfer – director responsible for energy efficiency at Tirol Milch – and Reinhard Jennewein – Managing Director of Stadtwerke Wörgl – as they accepted the Energy Globe 2017.

Tirol Milch has long since backed independence from fossil fuels. The biomass heating plant was opened during the course of Tirol Milch's location consolidation at the Wörgl facility in 2009/2010. "By feeding waste heat from production into the district heating network, a further step has been taken towards energy efficiency in the sense of a circular farming economy," said Deputy Governor Josef Geisler, praising the important contribution to achieving energy autonomy for Tirol. Overall, there is still great potential for the utilisation of waste heat. "Tirol Milch and Stadtwerke Wörgl have jointly harnessed this energy resource in the sense of TIROL 2050 – energy autonomy. And this has earned them the Energy Globe Tirol," said Deputy Governor Geisler in presenting the prestigious energy award to the two companies.

12,800 MWh of energy has been delivered to Stadtwerke Wörgl in one year alone. This corresponds to the energy needed to supply more than 640 households. The saving in CO2 emissions compared with calorific energy generation corresponds to over 3,000 tonnes a year.

The heat cooperation project of Tirol Milch and Stadtwerke Wörgl has also been recognised with the klima:aktiv award, presented by Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter in autumn 2016.


Photo (from left to right): Mag. Reinhard Jennewein, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Wörgl; Markus Mayr, Power Plant Supervisor at Tirol Milch Wörgl, Tirol Milch Chairman Stefan Lindner, Dir. Ing. Herbert Altendorfer, CEO of Tirol Milch, Deputy Governor Josef Geisler, DI Bruno Oberhuber, Managing Director of Energie Tirol, and Mag. Othmar Frühauf, Stadtwerke Wörgl, delighting in the award.
Credit: Energie Tirol