BELECTRIC begins construction of 70 MWp Photovoltaic Plant with Energy Storage

[Wittstock-Alt Daber, Germany]

a1d8b989dd Alt Daber-PV Next Generation: 70 MWp (MegaWatt-peak) photovoltaic (PV) Plant to be combined with energy storage as a reference project.
Planning and permitting for the PV project on a former Russian airbase was completed in four months and four days!

In Wittstock-Alt Daber, Brandenburg, Germany, BELECTRIC broke ground last Wednesday on an almost 70 MWp (MegaWatt-peak) PV power plant project located on the 133 hectares (328 acres) of a former Russian military airfield per “Baubeginn für Deutschlands größtes Dünnschicht-Solarkraftwerk auf ehemaligem Militärgelände” (Google English). The €150 million PV power plant will generate about 71.4 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually with completion expected by December 2011 at the latest. The Alt Daber-PV Next Generation installed cost is just over €2.14 per Watt including site remediation costs and maybe even the two electricity storage plants (Stromspeicherkraftwerke) although BELECTRIC is also applying for storage incentives.

While BELECTRIC said the project will use more than 850000 First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) photovoltaic (PV) modules, 980000 modules is the count per “Wirtschaftsausschuss für Rahmenbedingungen zur Förderung künftiger Stromspeicherkapazitäte” (Google English) by Gerd-Peter Diederich for the Märkische Allgemeine (MAZ). The range may reflect the power ratings of the actual modules First Solar might deliver for the project.

Upon completion, the Alt Daber PV project would become the second largest PV plant in Germany and the fifth largest in the world according to the worldwide PV Plant rankings today at pvresources.

The PV project portion will consist of eight (8) PV module array fields and four (4) inverter stations per “Belelectric baut eine der größten Photovoltaikanlagen in Wittstock-Alt Daber” (Google English) by Gerd-Peter Diederich for MAZ. Grid interconnection with E.ON edis AG will be achieved using an existing underground 110 kV (kiloVolt) transmission line, if I got the translation right.

View Alt Daber-PV Next Generation in a larger map
Other than feeding stored renewable power into the grid on demand, the electricity storage technology or capacity was not disclosed though construction of the two electricity storage plants is planned to begin at yearend. BELECTRIC envisions the project as a reference center for renewable power generation and energy storage research. The project is also intended to exert a positive influence on renewable energy storage incentives in the 2012 EEG-Novelle revision of the German Renewable Sources Energy Act (EEG, Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz) now under discussion.

Disturbed Land
Even before the permitting was completed, BELECTRIC spent a few million Euros preparing the site for construction including soil tests, ordinance and toxic waste removal, and the demolition of old buildings. By enhancing the site’s environment, BELECTRIC claims to have a created a new habitat for rare regional animal and plant species. I am certain Alt Daber-PV Next Generation investors appreciated the “ground work” to uncover surprises before committing their funds.

BELECTRIC also tipped plans to develop innovative applications for electric vehicles in the Wittstock-Alt Daber area.

(Full disclosure: I own some shares of FSLR stock.)

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