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Airport Weeze Solar Power Station supplies renewable electricity for 3,300 households

07-01-2012

Since December 2011 the largest solar power station in North Rhine-Westphalia is in operation at Airport Weeze. The station has an output of approximately 14 megawatt and generates around 13 million kilowatt hour electricity. This equates to the electricity used by approximately 3,300 four-person households. At the same time more than 8,500 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year is saved.

100 % of the renewable electricity is supplied to the net according to remuneration rules of the feed-in tariff (EEG); however, a large part is being used directly at the airport. With its solar power station the third largest airport of NRW already complies today to standards which are required in conjunction with the energy transition policy by 2050.

Chief Executive Ludger van Bebber remarked on the occasion of the launch (commissioning) of the solar power station:” Renewable electricity is now generated on part of a former military area the size of 300,000sqm. We are very happy that we are now in a position to generate the entire energy need of our airport. In addition we make a valuable contribution to CO2 neutral energy supply in our region.

The photovoltaic facility was created on a 300,000sqm large area to the north east of the airport grounds which comprises 6 million sqm. The extensive grounds which are characterised by its watch towers and bunker systems were until the 1990s part of the former British Air Force base.

After completion of the approval process construction of the solar power station could begin in October 2011. Thanks to the unseasonably mild winter the construction of the power station could be completed within 10 weeks.

60,000 polycrystalline solar modules were installed on the solar field area which covers 42 football fields. The biggest photovoltaic system in North-Rhine Westphalia was created in record time. Up to 120 employees have installed 2,000 table-shaped frames and mounted solar panels. The tables are tilted in such a way that it enables the solar modules a year-round optimum energy yield. Altogether 87,000sqm modular surface convert sunlight into electricity (electrical energy?), which flows via 280 km of cables from the facility to the inverter stations which are as large as a garage. To protect the site a 3,700 m long fence has been erected around the facility. In addition the site is under video surveillance.

Thus protected, the 300,000sqm large site has in the view of experts, great potential to become a refuge for animals and plants.

The airport company is leasing the 30ha site to BaySolar AG (Freising). A subsidiary company of BaySolar AG (Freising), located in Weeze, has invested around 25 million Euro in the construction of the solar power station.