PepsiCo brand Lay’s Chips will heat residential homes in the Suikerpark neighbourhood in Veurne, Belgium by repurposing heat generated from its facility and transforming it into sustainable energy.
As an inventive environmental solution to power Suikerpark, PepsiCo partnered with technology designer Noven and utility grid operator Fluvius to action the project.
The Lay’s Chips facility in Veurne cooks up to 20 tonnes of potatoes per hour and releases heat vapours as a by-product.
“Using a condenser, we capture the vapours from cooking and heat a water circuit from 50°C up to 80°C,” Lay’s Chips maintenance and sustainability manager Frank De Clercq said.
The heated water is then transported to Suikerpark, flowing through the central heating system.
“The heat generated at the Veurne plant helps reach net zero emissions and replaces heat that would normally be sourced by burning natural gas,” De Clercq said.
This technology will be in use by 2022, heating 500 homes using clean, sustainable energy.
PepsiCo has set targets to cut carbon emissions by more than 40 per cent by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2040; the Veurne project is another step towards achieving this.
“Suikerpark is the opportunity of a lifetime,” Veurne mayor Peter Roose said.
“This is a great project to introduce new concepts that can be brought to the rest of Veurne.”
As the technology develops, there is potential to expand the system to the local hospital and other public buildings in the future. The Lay’s Chips facility in Veurne could potentially heat more than 2,000 homes.
“This heat network on the scale of a neighbourhood is unique,” Roose said.
“With this partnership, we’re realizing big things for our citizens while setting an example for the rest of the country.”