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Europe's biggest solar park starts in Germany, output traded by Shell

Highlights

605 MW Energiepark Witznitz online

Shell signed 15-year PPA for output

Platts-Pexapark PPA index at Eur50/MWh

  • Author
  • Andreas Franke
  • Editor
  • Jonathan Fox
  • Commodity
  • Coal Crude Oil Electric Power Energy Transition Upstream

Europe's biggest contiguous solar park, the 605-MW Energiepark Witznitz, has started full operations, according to asset owner HANSAINVEST Real Assets.

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A subsidiary of Shell, Next Kraftwerke, is to trade output after the oil major in 2023 signed a 15-year power purchase agreement with the asset owner of which 323 MW are reserved for Microsoft.

Construction on the former lignite mining site near Leipzig in eastern Germany started in 2022.

Developer MoveOn Energy achieved first grid connection in December, bringing some 100 MW online.

"With the complete grid feed-in of the Witznitz Energy Park, the entire 605 MW of green electricity is now flowing into the grid," the developers said.

Another 45 MW will come online this summer, with the entire project supplying power for around 200,000 households avoiding some 250,000 mt/year of CO2, it said.

Next Kraftwerke CEO Hendrik Saemisch said the project, realized without state subsidies, shows how competitive PV systems have become on the electricity markets and that an investment pays off.

The Shell subsidiary is already Germany's largest trader of solar power trade with a portfolio of 6 GW.

As the balancing group manager, Next Kraftwerke is also responsible for curtailment, dispatch and redispatch measures and ensures monitoring of the PV park to identify unforeseen events, it said.

German solar capture prices averaged just above Eur52/MWh in March, the lowest in almost three years capturing some 81% of the average wholesale price, according to Platts assessments for S&P Global Commodity Insights.

The Platts-Pexapark PPA index for a standard 10-year German solar PPA was pegged April 9 at Eur49.54/MWh, the highest so far this year.