Germany Inaugurates Europe’s Largest Photovoltaic Park on Former Coal Mine

Germany Inaugurates Europe’s Largest Photovoltaic Park on Former Coal Mine

Germany has officially inaugurated Europe's largest photovoltaic park, located on a former coal mine in the state of Brandenburg. The groundbreaking project underscores the country's commitment to transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

The solar park, situated on the former Welzow-Süd coal mine, spans 160 hectares and has a capacity of 187 megawatts (MW). It is expected to generate around 180 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, enough to power approximately 50,000 households. The project, which cost around €300 million, was developed by a consortium including German renewable energy company EnBW and Swiss asset manager Prime Capital.

The Welzow-Süd site, once a symbol of Germany’s coal-reliant past, now represents the country's forward-looking energy policy. The transformation of this brownfield into a renewable energy hub is part of Germany’s broader strategy to phase out coal by 2038 and reduce carbon emissions.

EnBW CEO Frank Mastiaux highlighted the significance of the project during the inauguration ceremony, stating, "This photovoltaic park is a milestone in our journey towards a sustainable energy future. It demonstrates how we can repurpose industrial sites to create clean energy."

The project received significant support from both regional and federal authorities. Dietmar Woidke, the Prime Minister of Brandenburg, emphasized the importance of such initiatives for regional development and environmental protection. "This solar park not only contributes to our energy transition but also creates jobs and stimulates the local economy," Woidke said.

The inauguration of the Welzow-Süd solar park marks a significant step in Germany's renewable energy agenda. It is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 150,000 tonnes annually. The project also sets a precedent for other European countries looking to repurpose former industrial sites for renewable energy projects.

Germany aims to produce 80% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with solar energy playing a crucial role in achieving this target. The success of the Welzow-Süd photovoltaic park could inspire similar projects across Europe, accelerating the continent’s transition to a sustainable energy future.