RWE begins operation of 31.5MWp solar PV projects with BESS in German opencast mine

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The encompasses two battery energy stroage systems with a total capacity of 6.5MW. Image: RWE

German energy company RWE has started operating two solar PV projects with a combined capacity of 31.5MWp with co-located battery energy storage systems (BESS) at the Garzweiler opencast mine in Germany.

The company said both projects had seen the installation of more than 58,000 bi-facial solar PV modules. The Garzweiler solar PV plant boasts a capacity of 19.4MWp and a 6.5MW/13 MWh battery storage system. The second project, called Jackerath, totals 12.1MWp of solar PV and 4.1MW/8.1 MWh of battery storage and is located at the western edge of the mine.

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“The two locations have a combined area of approximately 38 football fields. This shows it is not only our large-scale recultivation areas that offer plenty of space for renewables but also opencast mine areas that are still in operation. We plan to use these to ensure the region continues to be an energy producer into the future,” said Lars Kulik, CTO Lignite at RWE Power.

The Garzweiler project is set up directly below the Königshovener Höhe Wind Farm operated by the German city of Bedburg and RWE. The company announced the construction of the project in November 2022, as reported by PV Tech’s sister publication Energy-Storage.news.

RWE added that there are four solar PV projects and battery storage systems in opencast mines already under construction or in operation in its portfolio. The Inden opencast mine, which has been operational since 2022, consists of a 14.4MWp solar PV plant and a battery storage system with a capacity of 4.8MW/9.6 MWh. At the Hambach opencast mine, the 12.2MWp RWE Neuland solar farm and its 4.1MW/8.1 MWh battery storage system are under construction.

“In a short timeframe we have constructed three large-scale solar battery plants on opencast mine sites, and one more is under construction. That represents a further step towards our goal of achieving renewables projects with a capacity of 500 megawatts in the Rhenish lignite mining area by 2030,” said Katja Wünschel, CEO of RWE Renewables Europe & Australia.

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