GERO Solarpark GmbH’s 28MW solar power plant was inaugurated in Amsdorf, near Halle, Germany, with Saxony-Anhalt prime minister Dr Reiner Haseloff in attendance. The project is a joint venture set up by GETEC green energy AG and the ROMONTA group. Despite the €50 million investment being overshadowed by federal government plans to bring forward cuts to solar power subsidies, the companies have been able to realize the project in seven weeks after ground was broken on the site.
“Saxony-Anhalt is a great proponent of renewable energies,” said Saxony-Anhalt prime minister Dr Reiner Haseloff at the inauguration ceremony. “We play a leading role not only in terms of making use of these energies, but also in terms of technical expertise. The inauguration of the GERO Solarpark is clear proof of this. However, companies, investors and those advancing research in this field all need a reliable framework in which to operate. That’s why I see the need for a drastic rethink on the cuts to solar power subsidies rashly agreed at the start of the year by the federal government.”

Chris Döhring, spokesman for the GETEC green energy AG management board, highlighted how quickly the project was realised: 'The GERO-Solarpark started generating power on April 20, less than seven weeks after construction was started on the site. We have demonstrated that we are able to realise challenging projects in record time even in a turbulent environment.”

The owner of the up-to-the-minute solar power plant is GERO Solarpark; its joint partners, GETEC green energy and ROMONTA, planned and developed the project and implemented it with Q-Cells as system integrator. “This means that the lion’s share of the almost €50 million invested in the project has stayed in Saxony-Anhalt,” said Döhring. Financing had been secured by GETEC green energy in advance so that the GERO Solarpark could be successfully commissioned. The plant is claimed to be able to cover the annual energy requirements of around 8,000 households, in addition to saving around 15,000 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

'The solar power plant has been constructed over 55 hectares of former opencast mines and slag heaps and represents another milestone in our long-term energy concept,” said Uwe Stieberitz, chairman of ROMONTA. Electrical generating capacity at Amsdorf is now around 120MW, 75MW of which originates from renewable sources. “As far as I am aware, no other mining company in Germany is so consistently involved in renewable energy generation. Many simply talk about the shift to renewables; we’re getting on and making it happen.”

Nedim Cen, CEO of Q-Cells, expressed his pleasure at the completion of the project: “We are delighted to have successfully concluded this regional flagship project with our partner GETEC,” he said. “The smooth and efficient construction of the GERO Solarpark in Amsdorf against a backdrop of uncertainty with regard to the political framework underlines Q-Cells’ professionalism and reliability as a leading photovoltaic company in the global major solar power plant sector.”