Baywa re to build its first unsubsidized solar plant in Germany

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From pv magazine Germany.

The Baywa re renewable energy unit of German conglomerate Baywa has announced plans for its first PV plant outside Germany’s renewables incentive scheme.

The 8.8 MW Barth V solar park will be built in western Mecklenburg-Pomerania from next month, the Munich-based company said. Last year, Baywa re built a 175 MW solar plant without subsidies in Spain and sold it to financial investor MEAG.

The power generated at Barth V will be delivered to an industrial customer via a long-term power purchase agreement. Baywa re wants a ten-year term for the PPA and is insisting on a minimum of five years as it continues talks with various interested parties, solar projects MD for the firm Benedikt Ortmann told pv magazine.

Finalization of the PPA is expected before commissioning of the plant, which is set to take place in September. The sale of power will be taken over by the Baywa re Clens energy trading subsidiary of the German conglomerate.

Baywa re has already built several solar parks near the Baltic Sea airport of Stralsund-Barth. The first, 31.5 MW facility went into operation in December 2012; a second, 8.2 MW project followed in July 2013; and a third, 10 MW plant was developed in February 2017.

A new era?

The amortization period for the plant – which will be backed by long-term, non-recourse financing from an undisclosed German bank – was estimated by Ortmann to be 10-12 years.

Baywa plans to divest the project after completion but expects to provide operations and maintenance services at the site.

“We are proud to be able to implement the first subsidy free solar project in Germany – with lower irradiation values – and thus usher in a new era in renewable energy generation,” said Ortmann.

However, Baywa Energy board member Matthias Taft said the arrival of subsidy free solar in Germany should not herald the end of public incentives.

“Although it is possible to implement self-consumption concepts without feed-in tariffs in some cases – in the areas of small and medium-sized industrial plants – support will still be necessary in this segment,” said Taft. “In addition, the promotion of decentralized PV solutions in housing construction is desirable and sensible for the sake of the participation of broad sections of the population.”