Thuringia Celebrates Its Largest Solar Park in Ronneburg
Ronneburg/Wörrstadt, October 4, 2012. Past and future of our energy supply are situated closely together in the East German town of Ronneburg. Here, toxic uranium ore destined for the former Soviet Union’s nuclear industry was exploited until 1990 by the German mining company Wismut. Today, on the same site, Thuringia’s largest photovoltaic power plant produces clean electricity for about 5,600 households. Matthias Machnig, Thuringia’s Minister for Trade and Industry, officially inaugurated the plant today.
‘Fortunately, the nuclear age is a thing of the past. The future belongs to renewable energies. That is why the Free State of Thuringia pushes the energy transition with projects like the one in Ronneburg. The decentralized expansion of renewable energies offers regions great economic potential und increases the local value chain’, stated Thuringia’s Minister for Trade and Industry in his welcome address.
Among the numerous guests of honor were political and business representatives. Herbert Muders, juwi Solar managing director, emphasized the necessity of PV free-field
installations for the energy transition. ‘Solar electricity is an essential element of a power supply based on renewable energies. The urgently needed energy transition based on 100 percent renewable energies cannot be achieved without an increasing number of large PV free-field installations. Solar power significantly and permanently lowers the price of electricity at the stock exchange by replacing expansive conventional power plants and by producing electricity in peak hours. Prospectively, PV will provide low-priced clean electricity’.
Dr. Peter Asmuth, CEO of German utility STAWAG, emphasized the economic chances of a decentralized renewable energy supply: ‘Public utilities are the drivers of the energy transition. A decentralized energy production is a great chance for a future-oriented power industry and for local value creation. We have set up an ambitious program for the further expansion of renewable energies worth 150 million euros per year. We would like to invest this amount annually, together with our partners’.
Additional welcome notes were held by Krimhild Leutloff, Ronneburg’ s mayor, and Dr.
Stefan Mann, managing director of Wismuth GmbH. Martina Schweinsburg, county commissioner, also sent her regards.
Thuringia’s largest PV plant has an installed capacity of almost 20 megawatts. On 40 hectares of a former uranium ore mine, over 83,000 solar modules produce more than 19 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity per year, providing enough electricity for a small town like Ronneburg. In addition, 13,600 tons of the harmful climate gas carbon dioxide are avoided every year. The produced electricity will be fed into the local grid. The PV plant is operated by STAWAG Energie GmbH, a public utility.