RWE Proposes Solar Power from Tagebau Inden Open Cast Mine
It is still a gravel surface on the western edge of the Tagebau Inden open-cast mine. When it is terminated at the end of 2029, this strip of land will become the banks of a lake. But it will be two decades before the first waves hit the shore, time enough to turn the area into a large solar farm with battery storage in the meantime. That is exactly what RWE proposed in its winning bid to the Federal Network Agency’s innovation tender. Some specifics: The federal authority called for bids for a total of 250 megawatts with the aim of enabling particularly ambitious renewables projects to be carried out. RWE was successful at this tender: The Federal Network Agency granted RWE a fixed market premium on the solar electricity generated on the banks of Inden lake. Now the company will call for quotes for the different components of the planned plant and apply to the Kreis Düren district authority for a building permit. If all goes well, construction could begin in October. In June 2022 the project would then generate and store its first electricity.
The solar modules will be designed to have a peak availability of 14.4 megawatts of electric output. The battery storage system connected to the modules will be designed for a two-hour electricity input and output of a total of 9.6 megawatt hours. This means it will serve as a buffer between solar electricity generation and the supply network so that the power feed-in can be even better matched to demand. The plant at the future lake will be called “PV Hybrid Inden” and will be the first of its kind in RWE’s European portfolio.
RWE already operates the indeland-Windpark Eschweiler wind farm very close to the plant’s solar location; this is also a collaboration project with regional partners such as the Königshovener Höhe and Jüchen A 44n wind farms on the edge of the Tagebau Garzweiler opencast mine. Overall, RWE already operates wind farms in the Rhenish mining region with a capacity of over 300 megawatts. RWE is also continuously expanding its international onshore wind portfolio of over six gigawatts. Besides in its home market Germany, the company is also currently constructing onshore wind farms in the US, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Italy and in Great Britain. RWE operates two biogas plants with a total of some eight megawatts of thermal output in Bergheim-Paffendorf and at Kraftwerk Neurath (Grevenbroich) power plant.