The Süderdeich wind farm is located in the Dithmarschen district of Schleswig-Holstein and comprises four Enercon wind turbines in the 2.3-megawatt class. Over the coming weeks construction of the plant will be completed, allowing 20 million kilowatt-hours to be fed into the electricity grid annually. This wind farm is one of the first so-called "repowering projects" undertaken by RWE in which old turbines are replaced with new, more powerful installations.
"With the take over of the Süderdeich wind farm Green GECCO is once again surging forward and this second project will not be the last. There are still further projects in the pipeline for this year", emphasises Dr. Norbert Ohlms, member of the Management Board of Green GECCO and representative of the municipal utility partners. "Overall, Green GECCO has earmarked one billion euro for investment in the generation of heat and electricity from renewable resources by the end of 2020. Together, we are able to tackle projects – both nationally and internationally – that would be unfeasible for one of the municipal partners to approach alone."
The scope of co-operation extends to German and European projects in the wind power, biomass, geothermal, biogas, hydro-electricity and solar thermal energy sectors. The first project last year saw Green GECCO take over the Scottish "An-Suidhe" onshore wind farm. With an installed capacity of some 20 megawatts this wind farm was commissioned at the end of 2010.
Prof. Fritz Vahrenholt, Chairman of the Board of Directors of RWE Innogy, explains: "Co-operation with the municipal partners is the most important pillar of our investment strategy. I am particularly pleased that we have jointly implemented a repowering project. Here in Germany, repowering through modernising the equipment at existing sites is exactly what will allow us to increase our overall output from wind energy. This is a prime example of how the expansion of renewable energies can take place hand-in-hand."
Each company that participates in Green GECCO may propose projects in the area of renewable energy generation for inclusion in the portfolio of the joint venture company. The inclusion of new projects requires the agreement of 75% of the project’s partners.
A joint venture company for generating energy from renewables
In April 2010, 26 municipal utilities and RWE Innogy came together under the Green GECCO joint venture company in order to drive forward the development and implementation of renewable energy generation projects. The 26 municipal utilities and regional energy supply companies have established a joint holding company. This company owns a 49 percent stake in the Green GECCO joint venture and the remaining 51 percent of the shares is owned by RWE Innogy, the renewable energy arm of the RWE Group.