In a ground-breaking ceremony held Aug. 19, RGE Energy started construction of a 45MWp solar power plant on 116 undeveloped hectares at the site of a former military airfield in Köthen, Saxony-Anhalt. When completed, the developers say that project will be the largest solar power plant in the German state and the world´s largest to be outfitted with string inverters.
RGE is responsible for planning, financing, and construction as well as for the management and maintenance of the PV power plant. BP Solar will supply 205,000 crystalline-silicon-based modules (rated at 220W) for the system, while the inverters will be provided by SMA. The fast-track project is scheduled for completion and grid-activation by the end of 2009.
One unusual aspect of the project is the yield guarantee offered by BP Solar. If the system does not deliver the overall energy yields guaranteed, BP will cover the difference, ensuring the long-term revenues of the plant, according to the companies.
A total of €133 million will be invested in the project, which will produce about 42.5 MW-hours of electricity, enough to supply about 9400 households or approximately the energy demands of the town’s entire population, according to RGE.
“The development on the former military airfield in Köthen…is a role model for a successful ecological conversion,” said Kurt-Jürgen Zander, mayor of Köthen. “Together with an already existing photovoltaic plant and a biogas plant, Köthen shall be one of the first cities with a self-sufficient energy supply.”
The Köthen project represents the majority of modules to be supplied by BP to RGE as part of a 66MW cooperative agreement announced in late May.