• EnBW has revealed plans to launch what would be Germany’s largest large-scale solar power plant with 175 MW output
  • It will develop the park on 164 hectares of land it has already secured
  • Project is scheduled to enter construction by the end of 2019
  • On completion it is expected to generate 175 GWh of clean energy per year

German electric utility EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG has announced a new large-scale solar park with an output of 175 MW, which would be Germany’s largest and first utility-scale solar park to be realized without feed-in tariffs. One of Germany’s top 4 utilities, EnBW acquired the 175 MW Weesow-Willmersdorf Solar Power Project from Procon Solar GmbH in 2018.

EnBW is yet to take an investment decision on the project, but a lot of ground work has already been accomplished. An area of 164 hectares has been secured and all building requirements are in place. Currently it is at a detailed planning stage, said EnBW, and initial preparatory work for the construction could begin by the end of 2019.

On completion, the project is expected to generate 175 GWh of electricity annually.

The German utility says it has won 64 MW of total solar power capacity in German auctions since the launch of the auction system in April 2015. Currently, it owns grid-connected solar power capacity of 70 MW across the country, with another 25 MW under construction or at planning stage. Its project development pipeline is around 800 MW.

“Due to technical advances, the cost of constructing solar parks has fallen dramatically – by up to 90% over the last 10 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,” said Dirk Güsewell, Head of Generation Portfolio Development at EnBW.

EnBW Chief Technical Officer Dr. Hans-Josef Zimmer added, “At Weesow-Willmersdorf, we want to prove that our solar park can be the first in Germany to be operated profitably without funding.”

In 2018, Germany installed more than 2.96 GW of new solar power capacity, taking the cumulative to 45.9 GW, which is supported under the EEG subsidy scheme. It was the first year since 2013 that the once global solar PV market leader managed to achieve and exceed its official annual target of 2.5 GW (see Germany Installed Close To 3 GW Solar In 2018).

With solar prices now being increasingly competitive, it’s no surprise to see companies in Germany starting to look into subsidy free solar as well. Unlike for tendering systems, which are limited to 10 MW in size, there is no such limit for subsidy-free solar power plants.