This week Mercedes-Benz Cars together with Statkraft announced that it is taking the first step on the road to realizing a CO2-neutral energy supply for its German plants.
The company signed a PPA with Norwegian energy provider Statkraft to purchase wind energy from six community-owned wind farms with a total capacity of 46 MW. The power will be used to supply the Mercedes-Benz plant in Bremen as well as to the German battery production locations such as Kamenz and Stuttgart-Untertürkheim.
The wind farms, which were built between 1999 and 2001, are currently receiving feed-in tariff payments from the German government but those payments are set to expire in 2020 and 2021, after which Mercedes-Benz will begin its contract for the wind energy.
In doing so, Mercedes-Benz Cars said that it is ensuring the economical operation of existing wind farms, which can continue to contribute to Germany’s climate goals.
“As the first industrial company in Germany, we are using electricity from six wind farms and thereby ensure their continued operation already today. In doing so, we are taking an important step in realizing our CO2-neutral production operations and are underscoring our social responsibility,” said Markus Schäfer, Member of the Divisional Board of Management Mercedes-Benz Cars, Production and Supply Chain.
According to the contract between Mercedes and Statkraft, the power supplied by the wind farms will be integrated into the existing supply contract by Enovos Energie Deutschland GmbH. Enovos primarily ensures the accounting, grid use, and the integration of the green power supply into the energy portfolio of Mercedes-Benz plants.
“The cooperation with innovative companies such as Daimler, Enovos and wind power pioneers like the community-owned wind farms allows us to advance the market integration of renewable energies in Germany and Europe,” said Dr. Carsten Poppinga, Managing Director of Statkraft in Germany.
“This agreement underlines our leading position in Europe in the direct supply of industrial customers with power from non-subsidized renewable assets. Operation without subsidies is often possible when market-oriented action, targeted marketing and efficient plant operations come together,” Poppinga added.
“Integrating the renewable energies that are not subsidized by the Renewable Energy Sources Act into traditional energy delivery models will be of key importance for our target market of major industrial companies in the future. With this in mind, successfully rolling out the delivery of green power to our long-standing energy customer Daimler, together with Statkraft, is an important step,” explains Andreas Loh, Managing Director of Enovos Energie Deutschland GmbH.
About The Wind Farms
The six wind farms with 31 turbines are located within a radius of about 25 kilometers from Hanover, the capital of the German State of Lower Saxony, as well as in Bassum, 30 kilometers south of Bremen. The plants generate about 74 GWh a year and have an installed capacity of 46 MW. Commissioned between 1999 and 2001, their subsidies through the Renewable Energy Act will run out after 20 years.
After the agreement comes into effect, the green power produced by the wind farms will be fed into the grid and simultaneously drawn from the grid by the Mercedes-Benz plants. The electricity production is staggered in accordance with the different ends of the EEG subsidy for the individual installations. The plan calls for 33.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) in 2021. In the years 2022 to 2024, it is expected to have 74 million kWh and for 2025, the agreement provides for a delivery of 21.8 million kWh. This green power will be used for the production of the EQC electric car at the Mercedes-Benz Bremen plant.
End of the EEG Subsidy Starting in 2021
Thus far, the EEG guaranteed the wind farm operators a fixed subsidized rate for the electricity. From 1 January 2021, the EEG subsidy will run out for about 6000 German wind power plants. In total, this corresponds to an installed capacity of 4.5 GW. Starting in 2022, further plants will drop from the EEG remuneration each year. Based on today’s data, this could affect about 1600 wind power plants annually with a total installed capacity of about 2.5 gigawatts between 2022 and 2026.