A delegation of some members of ePLANET consortium had the opportunity to visit the pilot site of Zlín region: Hostětín. These was just one day before the 3rd project meeting.

During the whole day, the ePLANET delegation visited several sites which altogether help to form an unique example of sustainable development and preserve the environment at the same time. The guide throughout the whole tour was the local stakeholder, energy specialist,  central heating plant operator and apple juicing plant manager Radim Machů.

The first stop was at the central heating plant (732 kW) operating since 2002 and using renewable resources of energy. It is fueled by wood chips of waste wood from nearby sawmills (500-600 t/year), and is connected to 69 of 81 homes in Hostětín by means of a 2,4 km long distribution line. The heating plant produces about 3.500 GJ of heat in one heating season and saves 1.500 tons of CO2 per year. This means that fuel payments do not go to international gas companies, electric or coal-fired power stations, but to the municipality and local entrepreneurs.

The 2nd part of the visit included the seminar building of centre Veronica and the organic apple juicing plant, both in the center of the village. The seminar building of centre Veronica (2006) is one of the first passive houses built in the Czech Republic. It combines modern technologies for energy savings and rainwater harvesting, together with traditional materials and environmentally friendly indoor equipment. The building gained the „Environmentally Friendly Service“ ecolabel, certificated by the Czech Ministry of Environment. The organic apple juice and juicing plant (production capacity: 300 tons of apples per year) produces unfiltered juices from the regional fruit species in Hostětín since the autumn of 2000.

The study visit was concluded with the Workshop on developing energy communities in Hostětín, collecting data on electricity and heat consumption and the possible ways of their visualization through the ePLANET platform.