Polish Spa Town Switches to Renewables to Improve Air

A Polish spa town is turning to renewable energy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in the region and clean up the air. Ladek-Zdroj became the first community in Poland to achieve self-sustainability after Mayor Roman Kaczmarczyk pushed for a solar farm project that allowed the community to turn away from fossil fuels such as coal.

Mayor Kaczmarczyk assumed office in 2014 and outlined a project to fill a field on the town’s edges with solar panels rather than wheat. Unfortunately, solar and renewable energy as a whole was still a wildly untapped sector a decade ago, and Kaczmarczyk’s plan seemed destined to fail.

The mayor argued that building a solar farm would give the town a reprieve from high energy costs and clean up its polluted air, essentially killing two birds with one stone.  An economist and computer engineer by profession, Kaczmarczyk has spent most of his life in Ladek-Zdroj and experienced the air pollution that often occurs during the cold season.

Most heating systems in the town currently use oil, wood, coal and sometimes even garbage to generate heat. As a result, the majority of the houses in Ladek-Zdroj are often covered with dark layers of soot. Furthermore, Ladek-Zdroj was plagued with a smog problem that harmed its image as a health resort town and forced residents to breathe foul air.

The town now has a solar farm equipped with 20 rows of solar panels on a 27-acre field. According to Kaczmarczyk, the project has been a major success across the board. It provides Ladek-Zdroj with affordable renewable electricity, cleaned up the town’s air and allowed the community to become more independent from the national grid.

Ladek-Zdroj’s energy cooperative is one of 22 energy communities in Poland; it began operations last September. Its three founding members comprised the largest municipal enterprises in Ladek-Zdroj. Members of the cooperative receive renewable energy directly from the photovoltaic solar farm at a third of state utility prices.

The collective will begin taking new members from Ladek-Zdroj and nine surrounding villages this year. Collective shares are available to private households and companies at $243 per share alongside a single $243 payment to join the collective.

Despite the project’s relative newness, the solar farm is now supplying 100% of the energy used by all the municipal buildings in the town. Kaczmarczyk notes that although the solar farm has obvious benefits for the town, some citizens would prefer investment in infrastructure such as roads rather than solar panels.

Kaczmarczyk adds that the Polish government wasn’t even remotely prepared to deal with the Ladek-Zdroj solar farm project. Now that the project is underway with many obvious benefits,  and a new government is now in charge, the mayor is hoping to gain funding from the national government.

The success of this Polish town shows that individual companies such as Mullen Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) can also go a step further by making use of green energy at their facilities so that the green-energy products that they sell come from net-zero production facilities.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mullen Automotive Inc. (NASDAQ: MULN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/MULN

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