RWE has installed two photovoltaic plants with battery storage facilities and more than 58,000 photovoltaic modules at the Garzweiler opencast mine to generate solar electricity for over 7,250 German homes annually.
The company used bifacial modules, which are photosensitive on both sides, that utilize light reflected off the ground on the rear side of the modules in addition to the direct sunlight on the panels.
“In a short timeframe, we have constructed three large-scale solar battery plants on opencast mine sites, and one more is under construction,” said Katja Wunschel, CEO RWE Renewables Europe & Australia. “That represents a further step towards our goal of achieving renewables projects with a capacity of 500 megawatts in the Rhenish lignite mining area by 2030.”
The Garzweiler project, with a peak capacity of 19.4 MWp and 6.5 MW of storage capacity, was set up below the Konigshovener Hohe Wind Farm, which is operated by Bedburg and RWE. The Jackerath project, with 12.1 MWp and 4.1 MW battery storage, is located on the western edge of the opencast mine.
A two-hour charging and supply cycle can be achieved with the battery storage systems.
“The two locations have a combined area of approximately 38 football fields,” said Lars Kulik, CTO Lignite at RWE Power. “This shows it is not only our large-scale recultivation areas that offer plenty of space for renewables but also opencast mine areas that are still in operation.”
RWE is also constructing the RWE Neuland Solar Farm photovoltaic and battery facility at the Hambach opencast mine, with another solar plant in the planning stage.