Ball – Solar heat for can production

Solar thermal energy for the beverage industry

One of the world's largest aluminum packaging manufacturers uses solar process heat as a decarbonization solution.

Ball Corporation, based in Fairfield, California, has more than 35 years of tradition. Up to 8 million cans are produced every day. The pursuit of innovative goals in the area of sustainable development has led to a collaboration with SOLID in the area of process heat.

Ball Corporation is one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum packaging, specializing in beverage cans. Balls production facility in Fairfield, California, requires a lot of heat for operating the process and cleaning the products in a temperature range of about 60°C. One of Ball Corporation’s priorities is sustainability, which includes the use of renewable heat.

A 3,956 m² process heat plant with a thermal capacity of 2.8 MW was built for this company. This installation is California’s largest solar heating plant and ranked No. 2 all over the US. The plant is expected to save more than 200.000 therms natural gas per year.

The solar system provides its heat with new hot water interfaces to Balls facilities and thus not only reduces the boilers gas consumption but as well the losses of steam production and distribution. The system can cover the full demand during the summer months. The plant is realized in partnership with the Israeli company TIGI and the solar heat is provided under a heat supply contract.

“In a next step, already under discussion, the heat production can be fully decarbonized by retiring the boilers and the steam system by the addition of a heat pump to support the solar system in the winter month. This will be a worldwide unique lighthouse project for greening industry.” states Christian Holter, Board member of SOLID America Energy Services llc.

“Government regulations are relatively easy to comply with, as there is no connection from the solar plant to a grid. This is a multiplier advantage for international companies with many different locations around the world,” says SOLID’s project developer Johannes Luttenberger.

Technical Specifications


Collector area
3956 m²

106 m³

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