24 May 2011

Phoenix inaugurates 18MW of CdTe solar parks on former German military airbase

Together with its financing partner KGAL GmbH & Co KG, in a ceremony on 20 May attended by guests from politics and the business community, photovoltaic system integrator Phoenix Solar AG of Sulzemoos near Munich, Germany (which is listed on the TecDAX exchange) inaugurated two solar parks in Jocksdorf and Preschen located on a former military airbase in Neiße-Malxetal, Brandenburg, Germany. The plants are separated by a 3km-long runway and hence belong to different neighbouring municipalities.

Picture: Aerial view of Jocksdorf and Preschen solar parks. Source: Phoenix Solar.

Both solar parks will use Xantrex GT500 PV inverters together with cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic modules made by First Solar Inc of Tempe, AZ, USA, which in June 2005 reached its first agreement to supply what was then called Phoenix SonnenStrom AG. In particular, the Jocksdorf plant (built in 22 weeks and commissioned in May 2010) uses 55,360 FS-275 modules and 50,092 FS-277 modules, and the Preschen plant (built in 12 weeks and commissioned in December 2010) uses 129,600 FS-277 modules.

Favorable irradiation of an annual average 1050 kilowatt hours per square metre makes the region in the east of Germany well suited to the construction of photovoltaic power plants, says Phoenix. Collectively, the two solar parks will supply electricity to more than 4300 four-person households and save about 10,000 tons of CO2 annually.

“Brandenburg is already sourcing 15.6% of its primary energy requirements from renewable energies. This brings annual savings on CO2 to almost 10 million tons,” remarked Brandenburg’s Environment Minister Anita Tack at the ceremony. “Brandenburg is viewed as a role model for an ambitious energy and climate protection policy, and has made it possible to convince entrepreneurs, investors and scientists to translate their ideas into reality here in particular,” she adds. “In the meantime, a branch of industry has successfully developed on this basis, with more than 12,000 jobs, 3000 of which are in the photovoltaic sector alone,” Tack states.

Also, district administrator Harald Altekrüger, mayor Eberhard Müller, Dr Klaus Wolf of KGAL and Ralph Schneider of Phoenix Solar underscored the special features of both projects and gave an insight into the development, construction, expected electricity yields, and the significance of the solar parks for the region.

KGAL commissioned Phoenix to build the solar parks and has incorporated them into a fund for institutional investors. “We have been realising projects with Phoenix Solar for our investors for many years now,” notes KGAL board member Dr Klaus Wolf.

Phoenix was responsible for the turnkey construction of both power plants in the capacity of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. As the solar power plants had to be built on a military conversion site of just under 60 hectares (about 150 acres), Phoenix’s first task was to remove all munition remains before it could start with the installation. “We will continue our work in the region,” says Ralph Schneider, executive VP of Solar Energy Investments at Phoenix. At the end of the operating lives of the solar parks (now fixed for 20 years) the conversion of the site will enable it to be used for urban development.

Tags: Phoenix Solar First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

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