Solarcentury builds first solar farm in Germany

Solarcentury has developed, constructed and sold its first solar farm in Germany — a 4.7 MW plant in the state of Saxony-Anhalt.

The Calvoerde solar farm, constructed in just five weeks on a brownfield site, is now connected to the grid and generating enough energy to power 1,150 local homes.

While Solarcentury had previously delivered solar projects in Germany, with several roof installations over the last decade, the Calvoerde plant is Solarcentury’s first solar farm and biggest project to date in Germany.

Solarcentury developed the rights for the site with German partner Sybac Solar GmbH. Solarcentury secured debt financing and an investor, designed the system and managed construction of the project. The solar farm was made financially possible by Germany’s new auction tariff for ground-mounted installations introduced in April. The Calvoerde project to be completed of the 25 projects selected in the auction, which together have a combined capacity of 150 MW.

Nikolaus Krane, Solarcentury’s director in Germany, said Calvoerde was the first in a pipeline of new projects the company is looking at in Germany. “The levelized cost of solar electricity in Germany is below the wholesale market price for industrial/commercial off-takers, which makes ground mounted solar of this size financially viable.”

Krane added that the company’s experience, particularly in EPC services, made it an attractive partner, adding that it was ready to develop both commercial-scale ground-mounted and rooftop projects in Germany. The company is also looking at markets in Central Europe.

Solarcentury currently operates in countries across Europe, Africa and North and South America.

Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel added that although the German market was highly competitive, the Calvoerde farm demonstrated that “with the right partnerships in place, it is possible to deliver successful solar projects. We believe the outlook for solar in Germany is getting brighter, despite mixed fortunes of the recent past.”