News

| Press reports

Frutura converts excess thermal water heat into clean electricity with the help of Orcan Energy

 

Munich, Germany, and Hartl near Kaindorf, Austria, 05.03.2024 – Frutura, producer and largest marketer of fruit and vegetables in Austria, recently commissioned an energy module from Orcan Energy. The company now uses excess heat from existing geothermal drilling to efficiently generate clean electricity. The Orcan Energy module produces around 625 MWh of electrical energy per year. This enables Frutura to save around 100 tons of CO2 per year.

In 2016, Frutura opened Frutura Thermal Vegetable World in Blumau, Styria, sparking a new era of sustainable agriculture in Austria. Using thermal water to heat the greenhouses saves thousands of tons of CO2 each year and eliminates the need for fossil fuels in regular operation. Until recently, some of the excess heat generated by geothermal drilling remained unused. Frutura is now converting this excess heat, which is mainly generated in summer, into CO2-free, clean electricity with the help of Orcan Energy. As a result, the geothermal borehole is fully utilized all year round, enhancing the overall energy efficiency. Less than ten months after first getting in contact, Frutura and Orcan Energy have successfully completed the project by commissioning it.

Manfred Hohensinner, managing partner of Frutura: “We are proud to have been producing climate-friendly and tasty fruit and vegetables in Austria for years. Now that we have become independent of fossil fuels for heat generation, it was a logical step to convert the excess heat from geothermal drilling into electricity. Orcan Energy was the ideal partner for us, providing all the flexibility we need to respond to any changes in the future thanks to their modular approach."

Andreas Sichert, CEO of Orcan Energy: "Frutura is the best example of visionary entrepreneurship uniting ecology and economy. Together, we combine the direct use of geothermal heat with the production of electricity. With Orcan Energy, heat-to-power is also possible on a smaller scale thanks to our modular approach. In particular, the simple combination with our standardized modules has great potential: We can meet both the heat and electricity requirements of the building sector, commercial and industrial businesses with geothermal energy in a decentralized, CO2-free and attractively priced way. Austria and southern Germany are home to a wealth of natural heat deposits. Frutura recognized and exploited this potential at an early stage. Our thanks go to Frutura's highly competent project team, who made it possible to implement the project quickly and successfully."

Power generation from excess geothermal energy pays off even for comparatively small amounts of heat. The module used by Frutura makes economic operation possible from a thermal output of just 1 MW. However, the overall potential is huge: According to recent analysis by a leading management consultancy, the energy potential of converting excess heat from existing geothermal drilling into electricity is around 300 thermal TWh per year. This means that a huge opportunity for decarbonization currently remains untapped underground.

 

 

About Frutura

Frutura is a producer and the largest marketer of fruit and vegetables in Austria. The company is, literally, deeply rooted in our country. The Styrian family business is a pioneer of environmentally friendly agriculture and supplies up to 3 million people with fresh vitamins every day - all year round. This is because the Thermal Vegetable World in Bad Blumau also produces a harvest during the winter months. The natural warmth of the thermal water provides an optimal climate for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and eggplants in the greenhouses. The Blumau tomato is the best-known representative of the Frutura Thermal Vegetable World. The secret of its excellent taste? None at all! The gardeners at Frutura let nature take its course and give the plants the time they need for the vegetables to ripen in peace. You can taste that, of course.

Facts and figures about the Frutura Group: The Frutura Group supplies 1.3 million households in Austria with fruit and vegetables every day. 230,000 tons of fruit and vegetables and up to 1,000 different items leave the fresh produce hub in Hartl every year. More than 850 employees now form a large Frutura family and ensure satisfied customers.

For more information about the company and its products, visit www.frutura.com.