BASF and enviaM commission solar farm in Schwarzheide
- Economics Minister Steinbach attends commissioning ceremony
- The partners invest around 13 million euros
- The plant can generate 25 gigawatt hours (GWh) of climate-friendly electricity per year
On 25 August 2022, BASF Schwarzheide GmbH and envia Mitteldeutsche Energie AG (enviaM) commissioned the first joint solar farm in the presence of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Steinbach, Minister for Economic Affairs, Labour and Energy of the State of Brandenburg.
Within a construction period of six months, a solar farm with around 52,000 photovoltaic modules and a transformer station were built on an area of 24 hectares to supply green electricity to BASF's production site in Lusatia. With a total installed capacity of 24 megawatts peak (MWp) and an expected electricity production of 25 gigawatt hours (GWh) per year, the plant will be the first major solar power plant in the world to be implemented by BASF with a partner.
The majority of the electricity generated will be used to supply BASF's production site in Schwarzheide through a long-term electricity supply contract. The solar farm should be able to cover about 10 per cent of the current electricity requirements of the BASF production site on an annual average. Above all, the BASF plant for the production of cathode materials for battery production currently under construction will benefit from the solar power.
The total investment for the solar farm and the adjoining transformer station amounts to around 13 million euros. The project was implemented without public funding. BASF holds a 51 per cent share and enviaM a 49 per cent share in the specially founded joint venture, BASF enviaM Solarpark Schwarzheide GmbH. The enviaM subsidiary envia THERM was commissioned with the plant's planning, construction and operation. Within the enviaM Group, it is responsible for the business areas of energy generation and heat supply.
On the occasion of the commissioning, Minister of Economics and Energy Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jörg Steinbach remarked: "Solar energy has developed rapidly in recent years and is making an increasingly important contribution to the energy supply. If we want to achieve our energy and climate protection goals, the increased expansion of renewable energies is essential. We need clean electricity generated regionally from renewable energies. The solar farm in Schwarzheide shows that electricity from PV ground-mounted systems has become competitive and can also do without subsidies - that is a good sign. This solar farm contributes to achieving the German government's goal of increasing the share of renewable energies in gross electricity consumption to at least 80 per cent by 2030. In addition, the joint project between BASF and enviaM supports the goals of the state government as part of our Energy Strategy 2040, which is currently in progress, and makes a contribution to climate protection."
"Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. Sustainability is a growth driver and business principle for BASF. We are resolutely pursuing our strategic path to climate neutrality despite the current global political situation - even more: we are accelerating the conversion of our energy supply. With the commissioning of the solar farm today, we are reaching an important milestone in the development of future technologies at the Schwarzheide site. Our cluster for the production and recycling of battery raw materials will follow. Successfully implementing such a project in such a short time was only possible because we have a strong partner in enviaM and the state of Brandenburg has once again supported us with professional approval processes," said Dr. Uwe Liebelt, President European Verbund Sites BASF SE and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of BASF Schwarzheide GmbH.
Dr. Stephan Lowis, Chairman of the Board of enviaM remarked: "The industrial sector needs a diversified supply more than ever. Direct access to renewable energies means a locational advantage that is also important for the further development of the Lusatia region. With the joint solar farm, we are not only taking a big step forward here, but also with regard to climate protection targets."
Jürgen Fuchs, Chairman of the Management Board of BASF Schwarzheide GmbH said: "Our goal is to become one of BASF's first CO2-neutral production sites. Access to renewable energy at competitive prices is a basic prerequisite for this. The commissioning of the joint solar farm is a first, big step in this direction, which will be followed by others. It strengthens the future viability of our site and secures jobs."
"In a next step, we will test stationary battery storage systems to store the fluctuating solar energy. In addition, our focus is on continuously increasing the share of renewable energies in the total consumption of the production site," explained Dr. Robert Preusche, Head of Transformation Renewable Energies at the BASF Schwarzheide site and Co-Managing Director of BASF enviaM Solarpark Schwarzheide GmbH.
Thomas Kühnert, Managing Director of envia THERM GmbH and Co-Managing Director of BASF enviaM Solarpark Schwarzheide GmbH, added: "After receiving the building permit in February 2022, the solar farm and the adjoining transformer station were completed within six months. The close cooperation of the partners and good project management made this possible."
Extensive compensatory measures were implemented on the area used for the transformer station and the solar farm, such as the creation of a dry and rough grassland and a wildflower strip as well as the installation of nesting aids for breeding birds.
In the course of the construction measures, an old rainwater drainage system along Naundorfer Straße was also rebuilt.
About BASF Schwarzheide GmbH
BASF Schwarzheide GmbH has been part of the BASF group since 1990. More than 2,000 employees produce specialized chemicals at the production site in Lusatia. The product portfolio ranges from polyurethane based products and systems, crop-protection agents and water-based coatings to engineering plastics, foams, dispersions, Laromer brands and from 2022 also battery materials. With these high-quality products that contribute to a more sustainable future, BASF Schwarzheide GmbH helps its customers to be successful.
BASF Schwarzheide GmbH assumes social responsibilities in the region, contributing to various areas from vocational training to co-siting activities. A dozen companies have already become co-siting partners with BASF, thereby benefiting from the multifaceted synergies of working together with an innovative chemical company and the experience and expertise BASF has to offer. For more information, please visit www.basf-schwarzheide.de.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. Around 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of €78.6 billion in 2021. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the U.S. Further information at www.basf.com.
The enviaM-group is the leading regional energy service provider in eastern Germany. The group of companies supplies almost 1.3 million customers with electricity, gas, heating and energy services. The group of companies with around 3,400 employees includes envia Mitteldeutsche Energie AG (enviaM), Chemnitz, as well as other companies in which enviaM holds a majority stake. Together they are developing the Internet of Energy in East Germany. The majority shareholders of enviaM are E.ON SE and around 650 eastern German municipalities. The shareholders hold shares in enviaM both directly and indirectly via investment companies. Further information at www.enviaM-gruppe.de.