The 128.5MW Templin solar power plant is the largest thin-film solar project in Europe and the second largest solar power plant in Germany.
Located at Brandenburg, Germany, the plant is installed with approximately 1.5 million thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules. It began commercial operations in April 2013.
The $269m solar PV plant is owned by Commerz Real and developed by Belectric. It was built as part of the Energy Strategy 2030, drafted by the Brandenburg state for developing the energy sector.
The plant generates 120 million kWh of power annually, which is sufficient to supply for 36,000 households and is expected to offset approximately 90,000t of greenhouse gas emissions per year.
Templin solar plant details
The Templin solar power project is developed on the largest former Russian military airfield at Gross Dölln. The project includes eight power plants extending over 214ha.
The CdTe thin-film PV modules installed at the plant have a power ratio equal to that of a conventional solar module and have a faster energy payback time. The carbon footprint of the modules is lesser than that of conventional solar modules.
The plant is equipped with 3MW block technology of Belectric. The block system is specifically designed for maintaining the optimisation and integration of the grid. This helps in achieving higher energy production at a minimal cost.
The intelligent power plant technology comprises of dynamic controls for regulating the voltage and minimising the grid fluctuations.
The special electronics system is used to counteract the generated reactive power and improves the grid stability. It helps in adding more energy to the grids without any further grid expansions. A phase shifter is installed for balancing the reactive power.
Inverter technology at Templin solar power plant
Templin solar power plant includes 114 Sunny Central 900CPXT inverters manufactured by SMA. The 1MW inverters feature OptiCool intelligent temperature management system. The technology helps the inverters to adapt quickly to the temperature-variations of the PV arrays.
The grid management function provides leading or lagging power to the plant and compensates the leading reactive power generated. This helps in reducing the need for additional compensation system. The inverters are also specifically designed to work efficiently in cold temperatures.
Templin solar power plant construction and grid connection
The Templin solar power plant was connected to the energy grid in Templin, Brandenburg in April 2013. The city of Berlin will be powered with the electricity generated by the plant.
The plant took four months for construction, creating approximately 400 jobs. The major construction works included the installation of solid steel and beams, GPS and laser measuring system, photovoltaic modules, electrical systems and cabling system.
Financing for Germany’s second largest solar power plant
Bayerische Landesbank and UniCredit Bank provided long-term debt financing for the 128MW solar power plant. CFB Fund 180 also provided equity financing of $66m for the project.
Contractors / suppliers involved with the Templin solar power plant
The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the Templin solar power project was awarded to BELECTRIC Solarkraftwerke. The scope of the contract covered the installation of solar panels, plant commissioning, grid connection and power generation.
First Solar supplied the photovoltaic modules for the plant.
Solar power market in Germany and Europe
The German solar power market has emerged as the leading solar photovoltaic installer with a solar capacity of 34.186GW by June 2013. The solar PV installations were about 7.6GW in 2012 and the total power generated in 2011 was 18 billion kWh.
Germany has set a target of producing 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
Germany installed a record number of new solar power plants in 2012, but interest in the renewable energy source fizzled out in the fourth quarter as subsidies were slashed to curb costs to customers, new data shows.
Five out of the ten largest operational solar power plants are in the US, while Spain and Germany each house two of the world’s largest solar power facilities.