Germany Warms To Solar Power With Expansion

on September 01, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Following its controversial decision after the Fukushima crisis in Japan to shut down all of its nuclear power generation, Germany has been busy bolstering its renewables portfolio.

General contractor hybridsolar AG will add 60.2 MW of capacity to the 24.3 MW FinowTower solar plant, located at the former Eberswalde/Finowfurt military airport in the district of Schorfheide, northeast of Berlin, bringing the plant’s total capacity to 84.5 MW and making it the largest solar power plant in Europe.

Schorfheide Mayor Uwe Schoknecht played a central role over the last few months, shuffling around zoning laws and building regulations to allow the project to take place, according to to a hybridsolar statement.

The project will cost an estimated EUR 111.5 million ($115.2 million), with financing coming from Germany’s Solar Income Fund and from private investors including Altira AG and GmbH & Co. KG. Commerzbank AG will provide the debt financing.

Finow II, as the new solar additions to Finow I are being called, is expected to be operational by late December and will feed into the E.ON. power grid. Construction of Finow II will be fully documented on the solarhybrid website with four time-lapse cameras.

Though solar installations around the world have become more popular, American companies have been hit hard by falling prices for panels and steady materials and components costs. Just this month, both Evergreen Solar and Solyndra filed for bankruptcy. Read the full stories: Not So Evergreen and Another One Bites The Dust.

Editor’s Note: The photo, of solar panels in Germany, was originally posted by Michael Betke on Flickr.