RWE is making strides in advancing green electricity production within the Rhenish mining district. They have started the construction of a photovoltaic plant accompanied by an integrated battery storage system at the Hambach lignite opencast mine. This initiative includes the installation of approximately 22,000 solar modules by RWE, sufficient to cater to the energy needs of over 3,100 households through green electricity. Collaborating with Neuland Hambach GmbH, RWE plans to oversee the operation of these solar undertakings at the Hambach opencast mine.
RWE is playing a pivotal role in orchestrating the changes in the vicinity of the opencast mine. As part of the inter-municipal framework plan to reshape the mine and facilitate its interim use, the solar-storage project has been christened the “RWE Neuland Solar Farm.”The scale of the RWE Neuland Solar Farm is similar to “RWE indeland Solar Farm” at the Inden opencast mine, which features 26,500 solar modules and was unveiled a few weeks ago.
Anticipated for completion by the conclusion of 2023, the “RWE Neuland Solar Farm” will boast an 8.4 megawatt (MWac) capacity. Distinguished by bifacial modules capable of harnessing sunlight from both sides, these modules offer an added advantage: they can capitalize on light reflections from the ground, amplifying their efficiency. Moreover, the battery storage system, designed to accommodate a two-hour charging and supply cycle amounting to over 8-megawatt hours, operates as a vital buffer between electricity generation and the grid. The new plant is located next to “RWE Neuland 1 Solar Farm,” with intentions to achieve a capacity of 17.6 MWac. Pending prompt planning permission approval, the installation process could potentially commence this year.
Katja Wünschel, CEO RWE Renewables Europe & Australia, said, “This is already the fourth large solar project we are launching in the Rhenish mining district within a very short period of time, again in combination with a storage system. We are stepping up the pace, in particular in our home state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and we are implementing every wind and solar project possible. Across Germany, the capacity of these renewable energy projects will amount to 1,000 megawatts by 2030, with at least 500 megawatts to be located in the Rhenish mining district. To this end, we are investing around €4 billion gross.”
Lars Kulik, CTO Lignite at RWE Power, added, “The “RWE Neuland Solar Farm” will also be built on a recultivated opencast mining site. It is located near the shore of the future Hambach Lake and will be reached by its water level in decades only. Until the lake is completely filled with water, around 40 years from now, the area is being put to good use temporarily for solar farms. In this way, even opencast mines that are still active can already contribute towards the energy transition.”