Start of construction for Germany's largest thin-film solar power plant on former military grounds

(PresseBox) ( Kolitzheim, )
Wittstock: With the turning of the first sod on 25 May in Alt Daber near Wittstock, the starting signal for the largest thin-film solar power plant in Germany was given. The 133 hectare plant of BELECTRIC Solarkraftwerke GmbH, the international market leader in Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of ground-mounted solar power plants 2010, is being constructed on the former Russian army grounds.

"Wittstock and the entire state of Brandenburg have recognised the sign of the times." Martin Zembsch, CFO of BELECTRIC Solarkraftwerke GmbH, highlighted the positive collaboration with the responsible parties in the town with 15,000 inhabitants in north-west Brandenburg. According to Mr Zembsch, the town relies consistently on regenerative energy. After completion of the solar power plant, more than 71,400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year will be fed into the grid from the sun. This corresponds to annual CO2 savings of over 50,000 tons. "We shouldn't forget that we are at the start of a great development. What we achieve in small, laborious steps drives renewable energy and the energy revolution forward every day. It's a true success story. It doesn't happen overnight, but instead through the hard work of all those people who see the future ahead of them and want to make a change," emphasises Stephan Hansen, managing director of First Solar.

The work in Alt Daber is scheduled for completion in December 2011 at the latest. In total, over 850,000 modules from the manufacturer First Solar will be installed on the former military grounds. The investment will not only secure the energy supply of approximately 18,000 households, but also the jobs of over 600 employees in the Frankfurt (Oder) region. "The co-operation with the local council and authorities could not have been better," says a pleased Martin Zembsch - a view that Jörg Gehrmann, mayor of Wittstock, could only confirm. He also emphasised the constructive co-operation with the BELECTRIC engineers and the responsible parties, which ensured that the planning phase ran smoothly. Ground was broken just four months after the town of Wittstock signed the contract with BELECTRIC Solarkraftwerke GmbH. "Everyone involved worked very efficiently," commented Martin Zembsch.

Prior to the project, BELECTRIC invested a sum in the low one-digit million range in complex substrate checks, the removal of warfare material and contaminated soils and in the demolition of obsolete buildings. This constituted a significant ecological improvement to the 133-hectare site. Safety and scheduled contract completion were always the top priority and now the renaturalisation and simultaneous commercial use of the conversion real estate can begin. The protected premises offer rare species of animal and plants a new habitat.
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