Groundbreaking ceremony at Inden opencast mine.
(from left to right:): Dr Lars Kulik (CTO RWE Power), Stefan Pfennings (Mayor City Inden), Katja Wünschel (CEO Onshore Wind and Solar Europe & Australia at RWE Renewables), Wolfgang Spelthahn (District Administrator for Düren) und Jens Bröker (Managing Director indeland GmbH). Credit: RWE
German energy company RWE has announced that its Inden Opencast Mine will soon be producing solar power.
The lignite mine is located in the district of Düren, North Rhine-Westphalia and will house a utility-scale photovoltaics system consisting of 26,500 solar modules coupled with integrated battery storage.
The solar modules will be installed in two 1.4-kilometre-long and 100-metre-wide rows at the western edge of the opencast mine.
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The 9.6MWh battery storage system is designed for a two-hour charging and supply cycle and will function as a buffer between generation and grid.
The 14.4MW RWE indeland Solarpark is touted as a first of its kind in Europe and is scheduled to be commissioned later this year.
Katja Wünschel, CEO Onshore Wind and Solar Europe & Australia at RWE Renewables: “We are investing 11 million euros ($11.6 million) in our new project at the Inden opencast mine. This makes RWE indeland solar farm the next building block of a climate-friendly and more import-independent electricity production.”
RWE plans to build a further 500MW of renewable generation capacity in the Rhenish lignite mining district, a landscape that will become available once mining discontinues within the next seven years.
Dr Lars Kulik, CTO Lignite at RWE Power: “Energy transition and structural change in the Rhenish mining district are progressing well with projects like the RWE indeland solar farm. There is plenty of space for renewables facilities on the areas previously used for opencast mining – the mining district will thus remain an energy location in the future.”
RWE is currently building wind parks with a total installed capacity of about 200MW in the Rhenish mining district, with further wind farm and PV projects planned for additional opencast mines in the region.
Katja Wünschel added: “We are making North Rhine-Westphalia one of the centres in our innovation and growth strategy. Here, we want to implement every wind and solar project possible and thus help to shape the enormous transformation, especially in the Rhenish mining district.”