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EnBW plans large zero-subsidy PV array in cloudy Germany

The utility wants to prove that the 175MW project in Brandenburg can be the country’s first operated without EEG funding

Utility EnBW plans to build what will be Germany’s largest solar array – the 175MW Weesow-Willmersdorf PV project in the cloudy north-eastern state of Brandenburg - without subsidies.

“Due to technical advances, the cost of constructing solar parks has fallen dramatically – by up to 90% over the last ten years in Germany,” said Dirk Güsewell, head of generation portfolio development at EnBW.

“Therefore, today the costs involved in solar energy are on at least an equal footing with other technologies – which has also been demonstrated by the results of the latest auctions.

“We anticipate that the first large solar projects will be realised without EEG funding in the foreseeable future. Solar energy thus has a realistic chance of achieving this market maturity.”

EnBW now has a solar development pipeline of around 800MW, with Weesow-Willmersdorf taking concrete form.

'Getting this right is a big deal – subsidy-free renewables could hit 60GW in NW Europe'

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The company that is majority-owned by the Green Party-led state of Baden-Württemberg has already secured land for the project acquired the project from Procon Solar last year.

As soon as the technical execution plan has been created and the investment decision has been taken, preparatory work for the construction of the park could begin by the end of this year.

“By realising the Weesow-Willmersdorf solar park, we will not only become one of the top players on the German PV market, but will once again be sending an important signal – following the “zero cent bid” for our He Dreiht offshore wind farm in 2017 – about the market viability of renewable technologies,”E nBW chief technical officer Hans-Josef Zimmer said.

“At Weesow-Willmersdorf, we want to prove that our solar park can be the first in Germany to be operated profitably without funding.”

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