Partnership: Stadtwerke Heidelberg realises first large-scale solar project with Conergy

Conergy expands collaboration with energy suppliers with solar park on former landfill site

Back in May, Conergy had already won a major contract from the public utility company Stadtwerke Trier. The order for the 1.1 megawatt solar park for Stadtwerke Heidelberg is now giving the system supplier the opportunity to expand its strategic collaboration with energy suppliers further. Stadtwerke Heidelberg, which already has a long tradition of developing a solar portfolio, is now realising a large-scale solar power plant for the first time in collaboration with Conergy. The solar plant is being built on the sealed domestic refuse landfill site Feilheck in Heidelberg. Conergy is acting as general contractor and is responsible for both the planning and engineering of the park as well as the implementation, construction and supply of components.

A specially designed mounting system ensures stability and the preservation of the site
In the future, 4,464 solar modules installed on the “Energy Mountain” will produce 1,118 megawatt hours of clean energy for the Heidelberg region each year. That is sufficient to supply 280 Heidelberg households with solar power. At the same time, the power plant will prevent the emission of 566 tonnes of CO2 annually. Environmental protection also plays an important role in this installation on top of a landfill site where the mounting system is concerned. To ensure that the integrity of the containment system is not breached, the solar experts have developed a special mounting system tailored to the local conditions. The mounting frame is not driven deep into the ground as usual, but anchored using special steel posts positioned at an angle. Conergy is thus limiting the anchoring depth to a maximum of 50 centimetres, keeping the sealed landfill site body intact as well as ensuring the required stability on the inclined terrain.

Conergy: focus on collaboration with public utility companies and new business models
The direct marketing of solar energy is becoming increasingly important to energy suppliers. Conergy is supporting them in developing this potential: “We are very pleased to have been able to expand our strategic collaboration with energy suppliers through the project realised by Stadtwerke Heidelberg,” said Conergy Board Member Alexander Gorski. “This points to interesting collaboration options and new business models for the future. With system prices falling and subsidies for solar being reduced, we have already reached grid parity in some cases. Where this is achieved, solar is no longer a financial product intended to achieve as much profit as possible but a clean and reliable source of energy, which even helps to reduce energy costs for the consumer.”

Large-scale solar plant as a component of the energy transition in the Heidelberg area
For Stadtwerke Heidelberg, the solar project is a further milestone in their longstanding involvement with solar energy in Heidelberg and the surrounding area. By the end of 2011, the company had already built 40 plants; in 2012, ten further plants were added. “The solar plant on the Feilheck landfill site is our 50th plant overall and also the largest to date,” said Felix Gudat, Head of business area Renewable Energies at Stadtwerke Heidelberg Umwelt GmbH. “With a total capacity of around 2,643 kilowatt we shall be achieving an annual CO2 reduction of some 1,255 tonnes with our solar plants by the end of the year.”

Photovoltaics is one component of Stadtwerke Heidelberg’s Energy Concept 2020. In this concept, the regional energy supplier from the city on the Neckar has declared its goal of offering only non-nuclear power by 2017. The company has also started construction of a combined heating and power station using wood as fuel this year, which is scheduled to be connected to the grid by the end of 2013 and which will supply Heidelberg with power and heat from renewable energy. The company is also investigating the possible utilisation of geothermal energy as the Upper Rhine Rift Valley is one of the best areas in Germany to draw heat from the depth. In addition, one of the planned projects to be put on the drawing board most recently is a gas-fuelled heating and power plant based on cogeneration – because this type of plant is necessary to integrate the power from fluctuating renewable energies into the energy systems.

“The plant on the Feilheck landfill site is thus part of a comprehensive and coherent concept devised by our company to take the energy transition forward in our region,” concludes Peter Erb, Managing Director of Stadtwerke Heidelberg Umwelt GmbH, the subsidiary of the regional energy supplier that is responsible for expanding the amount of power generated by the company itself.

Source: Conergy

For more information on: Conergy