From pv magazine Germany
German insurance and financial services group Signal Iduna and its Hansainvest Real Assets unit have begun construction of what could be the largest solar park in Germany — and Europe — some 30 kilometers south of Leipzig.
The ground-breaking ceremony for the 650 MW solar park took place on Wednesday at the former brown coal opencast mine Witznitz II. The project is expected to require a total area of 500 hectares and a further 150 hectares of compensatory land. The final building permit, however, is still pending.
The project developer and general contractor, Moveon Energy, will be responsible for installing 1.1 million solar modules at the facility, which is expected to come online in the second quarter of 2023. The plant will sell power to undisclosed industrial and large customers by means of long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs).
The Witznitz energy park will revitalize a previously little-used area. The creation of new bike and riding trails of 13 kilometers each and associated resting places is planned and intended to support tourism in the region. There are also ecological aspects that are expected to be taken into account when realizing the solar park.
Signal Iduen also wants to include agricultural activities below the solar modules on a test area of five to 10 hectares. The company is planning the construction of a solid hydrogen storage facility for its own electricity needs as well as quick charging stations for cars and bicycles. Due to the existing network infrastructure, it is also considering the coupling of solar power generation with electrolyzers for the production of green hydrogen.
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