A former Soviet Army training area in eastern Germany is on course to house what will be Germany’s largest photovoltaic (PV) power plant. It will also be the second-largest PV solar installation in the world.
First Solar and Juwi Holding AG plan to develop the €160 million, 53-megawatt facility near the city of Cottbus. Construction began this January and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The plant is being built on 162 hectares of land that is part of the former Soviet Lieberose training area north of Cottbus. The project’s cost enabled the required return to fund an attractive land lease for the State of Brandenburg. The lease, in turn, will finance the environmental cleanup of the former military zone, which is littered with tons of land mines, grenades and other munitions.
“This kind of project helps us heal the scars of the Cold War and meet our ambitious targets for renewable energy production at the same time,” said Matthias Platzeck, minister president of the German state government of Brandenburg, where Lieberose is located.
“This project alone is expected to displace approximately 35,000 tons of C02 emissions a year,” said Stephan Hansen, managing director of First Solar GmbH. “But we are particularly proud of this project because it adds an additional element to ‘clean.’ Not only will the project produce clean electricity, but it will also result in the removal of hazardous munitions from this project site.”
Upon completion, the PV power plant will consist of approximately 700,000 modules, with enough production capacity to meet the annual electricity needs of more than 14,000 homes.