RWE is accelerating the expansion of its green portfolio in North Rhine-Westphalia. After building a solar plant with integrated battery storage at Inden Mine and starting construction of two similar plants at Garzweiler Mine, the company has now been successful in the solar tender of the German Federal Network Agency (Auction date 1 November 2022).
RWE has thus laid the basis for construction of a new photovoltaic plant with a capacity of 16.8 megawatts (MWac) at Hambach Mine. Around 37,000 solar modules are to be installed to create the “RWE Neuland 1 Solarpark”. Together, they can produce enough green power to provide over 5,730 households with climate-friendly energy each year. Pending the issuing of the building permit, RWE could begin implementation in Summer 2023. The surrounding communities of the opencast mine will also benefit from this solar project. For this purpose RWE plans to work closely with Neuland Hambach GmbH, which is representing the interests of the six municipalities – Elsdorf, Jülich, Kerpen, Merzenich, Niederzier and Titz – and is designing structural change in the region.
Katja Wünschel, CEO Wind Onshore and Solar Europe & Australia at RWE Renewables: “This auction success provides tailwind for us to implement a further solar plant at Hambach Mine. It is already the fifth large solar project we are starting in in the Rhenish lignite mining district, most of them in combination with storage facilities. This is how we are driving forward the energy transition in this region.”
The new photovoltaic plant is to be built on the future banks of the planned Lake Hambach, very close to the “PV Hambach I” project. With this solar project with integrated battery storage RWE was successful in an innovation tender from the German Federal Network Agency in spring this year.
Dr Lars Kulik, CTO Lignite at RWE Power: “It will be many years before Lake Hambach will fill up to its final water level, so the premises can be used temporarily for these two large solar farms. With this step, we are once more demonstrating that the still active opencast areas can also already be used to contribute to the energy transition.”
In the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in particular, RWE is stepping up the tempo. The company is investing around 4 billion euros there by 2030 and plans to implement renewables projects with a total capacity of around 1,000 megawatts. At least 500 megawatts of this capacity are to be realised in the Rhenish lignite mining district.