The land at the site has already been secured for the project, with work moving on to the planning stages for the installation. Image: zak zak / Flickr
PV developer EnBW has commenced work on the first of many PV projects that will form part of an 800MW solar portfolio.
EnBW’s first project currently stands to be the largest PV installation developed within Germany and will be built without subsidies. The Weesow-Willmersdorf solar park in Werneuchen expected to feature an installed generation capacity of 175MW. EnBW acquired the project from Procon Solar GmbH last year, with the site set to be developed over 164 hectares of land.
Once completed, the solar park will generate 175GWh of electricity per year and cover the electricity needs of 50,000 households while saving 125,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Dirk Güsewell, head of generation portfolio development at EnBW, said: “We have seen a remarkable development over the past few years in solar technology. Due to technical advances, the cost of constructing solar parks has fallen dramatically – by up to 90% over the last ten years in Germany. Therefore, today the costs involved in solar energy are on at least an equal footing with other technologies – which has also been demonstrated by the results of the latest auctions. We anticipate that the first large solar projects will be realised without EEG funding in the foreseeable future. Solar energy thus has a realistic chance of achieving this market maturity.”
The land at the site has already been secured for the project, with work moving on to the planning stages for the installation. There’s a chance construction could begin by the end of 2019.
EnBW chief technical officer Dr. Hans-Josef Zimmer said: “As part of our EnBW 2020 strategy, we have established a new business field for renewable energies and have successfully developed it into an important pillar for the company. And we aim to grow further in this area. By realising the Weesow-Willmersdorf solar park, we will not only become one of the top players on the German PV market, but will once again be sending an important signal – following the “zero cent bid” for our He Dreiht offshore wind farm in 2017 – about the market viability of renewable technologies. At Weesow-Willmersdorf, we want to prove that our solar park can be the first in Germany to be operated profitably without funding.”
The business of solar is changing, as the industry scales up, technology, IT and new players to the market will add complexity. This sparks a host of opportunities such as co-location of solar and storage and the rise of unsubsidised solar projects as well as challenges which will question the very business model of European solar asset owners. Solar Finance & Investment Europe is the meeting place for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, solar, wind and storage funds and large energy buyers to do business.