First Solar and juwi Group plant is world’s second biggest

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First Solar and juwi group say that the Lieberose solar farm under construction in Brandenburg has reached status as the second biggest solar power plant in the world and the biggest in Germany.

This news came after the 560,000th solar panel in the project was put in place by German Infrastructure Minister, Wolfgang Tiefensee and Brandenburg Minister President Matthias Platzeck.

The utility-scale solar farm in Turnow-Preilack is still under construction and continues to grow despite the economic and financial crisis’ occurring worldwide. At present there is a total investment volume of more than €160 million. Once complete the plant will have an output of approximately 53MW and will be bigger than 210 football fields.

The project is being developed on the largest former military training site of the Soviet army in Germany. Due to the relatively low investment and operating costs, it has been possible to prepare the land for the farm, removing any debris left from its days as a military training ground; after the end of the lease period, the solar farm can be removed, restoring the land to its natural state.

“We aim to enable a global power supply with clean and cost-efficient solar energy. The Lieberose project alone will help save about 35,000 tons of CO2 per year,” say First Solar Managing Director Stephan Hansen and juwi Head Matthias Willenbacher. “We are especially proud of this project, because it is also ‘clean’ in another sense of that word. It is not only generating clean energy, but also ensures the removal of dangerous munitions.”

General contractor, juwi Solar will be responsible for planning, logistics, supervising construction and delivering the finished solar farm, which is expected to be sold to an investor upon completion. “Solar farms such as Lieberose are very important for the future of all of the renewable energies,” said Willenbacher and Hansen. “By their size and the efficiency with which the solar panels are produced, they contribute to significantly lower prices and to accelerating the advent of competitive solar electricity. This clearly increases the acceptance of solar energy,” they said.

Lieberose is scheduled to be fully operational by the end of 2009; upon completion, about 700,000 thin-film modules, predominantly from First Solar’s nearby Frankfurt/Oder factory, will produce enough climate-friendly electricity to cover the equivalent electricity needs of about 15,000 households.

In addition to producing the solar panels, First Solar helped finance the project.

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