• EnBW has announced securing green signal from the company’s board to go ahead with its subsidy-free solar project it announced in February 2019
  • With an installed capacity of 180 MW, previously stated as 175 MW, will generate close to 180 million kWh of clean power annually
  • It will be located in Brandenburg and developed with 465,000 solar modules
  • EnBW will commence initial cable laying work in Werneuchen in the beginning of 2020 and commission the entire plant before the end of 2020

German energy group EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG has secured approval from its board to go ahead with what it plans to be the country’s largest subsidy free solar park. The Weesow-Willmersdorf Solar Park in Brandenburg will also be the company’s first major solar project it will realize without feed-in tariffs through the German Renewable Energies Act (EEG).

It first announced the plant with 175 MW capacity in February 2019 and is expecting to start construction by the end of 2019 (see 175 MW Subsidy-Free PV Park For Germany). The company now says the solar park will have an installed output of more than 180 MW and will generate close to 180 million kWh per year, enough to supply power to close to 50,000 households.

Initial cable laying work is expected to commence in Werneuchen in early 2020 and the entire park is scheduled to be complete with some 465,000 solar modules before the end of the year 2020.

EnBW acquired the project from Procon Solar GmbH in a pre-development stage in mid-2018 and plans to set it up on a 164-hectare plot of land.

Currently, EnBW has more than 100 MW of solar PV generation capacity and is constructing another 25 MW that it won under auctions conducted by the German Federal Network Agency. The company’s Head of Project Development for Photovoltaics, Thorsten Jörß shared that EnBW has a project development pipeline exceeding 800 MW in Germany.

While it is interested in subsidy-free projects, EnBW says it will continue to expand solar projects of up to 10 MW that are eligible for EEG funding since open-field sites of this magnitude will also require EEG remuneration for these to be realized ‘cost-effectively’.

“We are convinced that major solar parks of this size can be operated economically without funding. But only if the EEG continues to regulate: Renewables first!” said EnBW Chief Technical Officer Dr. Hans Josef Zimmer. “This and other regulations in the EEG need to be retained so that the investment in renewable energies continues to make economic sense in the future.”

In August 2019, THEE and CEE Group signed a MoU to jointly operate 500 MW large-scale subsidy-free solar capacity in Germany while Axpo and BayWa r.e. are also planning smaller scale subsidy-free PV projects in the country (see Agreement For 500 MW Subsidy-Free Solar In Germany).

The German government has removed the cap of 52 GW in its EEG mechanism while fixing the country’s cumulative solar PV capacity target to 98 GW to be achieved by 2030, which sounds a lot but local solar association BSW thinks is insufficient to meet climate targets (see New German Solar Target: 98 GW By 2030).