Fifth photovoltaic plant in opencast mine commissioned in Rhenish lignite area

The first stage of RWE’s fifth solar farm in an opencast mine in the Rhenish mining area has been completed. Only weeks after the RWE Neuland Solar Farm in the Hambach opencast mine was commissioned, the first approximately 36,700 solar modules of the neighbouring RWE Neuland 1 Solar Farm have started to feed green electricity into the grid. The first stage of the new photovoltaic plant has a capacity of 20 MW peak (17.6 MWac) and can supply the equivalent of around 5,370 households with climate-friendly electricity. An extension of 15.2 MWp (12 MWac) is already under construction.

The two large photovoltaic plants RWE Neuland Solar Farm and RWE Neuland 1 Solar Farm, currently with close to 50,000 installed solar modules, are located at the foot of the Sophienhöhe hill near the future shore of the planned Hambach Lake. Until the lake is completely filled with water, the area can be used for producing solar electricity for many years. A further solar farm at the western edge of the opencast mine, north of Niederzier, is already in planning.

The neighbouring towns and municipalities are also to benefit from the plants. A collaboration agreement with Neuland Hambach GmbH which represents the interests of the six municipalities located next to the opencast mine – Elsdorf, Jülich, Kerpen, Merzenich, Niederzier and Titz – has already been signed.

Green growth in the home market

RWE has more than 20 years of experience in developing, constructing and operating renewable energy plants. In its home market of Germany, the company operates onshore wind and solar farms with a total installed capacity of around 700 megawatts. RWE is looking for locations across Germany to further drive the expansion of renewables. Whenever a site is deemed suitable for wind turbines or solar plants, the company looks after all aspects of the planning and building process as well as the operation of the plant.