Germany’s Incentives Propel World’s Largest Solar Project

In perhaps the most noteworthy display of the effectiveness of Germany’s feed-in solar energy rebates, a partnership led by California-based PowerLight has finished construction of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant: a 10 MW facility in Bavaria, Germany.

Now fully operational, the 10 MW Bavaria Solarpark uses solar trackers to maximize the facility’s energy production. The project uses 57,600 PV panels, and consists of three systems: Solarpark Muehlhausen 6.3 MW, Solarpark Guenching 1.9 MW, and Solarpark Minihof 1.9 MW. In addition to Powerlight, the project partners are K&S Consulting Group, and Deutsche Structured Finance (DSF) along with help from Siemens AG, Max Bogl Group and the Klebl Group. Together with Siemens AG, interconnection to the electrical grid was secured at each site by the regional German utility E.ON, with a 20-year power purchase guaranteed under the German Renewable Energy Law (EEG). “Solar electricity is a highly reliable source of power,” said DSF Managing Director Paul Steinhardt. ” Bavaria’s commitment to providing clean air for the community, protecting the environment, and securing our energy future has been a decisive factor for the development of this historic project.” The project has created hundreds of high quality jobs and its sustainable design and construction preserves the natural beauty and environmental quality of the region. “Over the next 30 years, the Bavaria Solarpark will generate hundreds of millions of kilowatt hours of emissions-free energy,” said Tom Dinwoodie, CEO of PowerLight Corporation. “PowerLight looks forward to developing more partnerships across Europe to meet the increasing demand for solar power.” Powerlight has been known for designing and constructing large projects — primarily in California where state incentives have helped propel the solar industry. The incentives in California are based on the installed kW size of a project, while Germany’s method delivers a certain rebate price per watt delivered by a particular project to the local electric grid. Germany’s incentives are considerably better than California’s, and have been cited for pulling worldwide supply of solar PV to its borders while leaving shortages in other areas. This legislation, newly expanded to include ground-mounted systems such as the Bavaria Solarpark, is expected to drive further growth of the German PV market. “The world’s largest photovoltaic project further validates Germany’s renewable energy policy,” said Howard Wenger, PowerLight’s Executive Vice President.
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