The falling cost of PV has increasingly driven the adoption of solar technology in recent years. But for a long time, the solar industry was fully dependent on subsidies. German PV project developer BayWa r.e. made headlines in 2018 with its 175 MW Don Rodrigo plant just outside of Seville, in southern Spain. The company backed the array with a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA), marking the first time a project of that size had been refinanced in Europe without the help of subsidies. It later charted new territory again with the completion of Germany’s first subsidy-free PV project in 2019.
The energy company will build a 38 MW solar, 22 MW wind and 12 MW battery project on one site. The first fully renewable hybrid power plant could be a blueprint for post-subsidy Germany. Vattenfall has an eye on German coalfields in particular.
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