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Energiewende in the fast lane

In 2011, the city of Düren erected what was at the time the largest solar park in North Rhine-Westphalia on a former landfill site. The transformation of the energy system – moving away from lignite in favour of renewable energies – is particularly clear to see here. After all, the 16,000 photovoltaic modules are within view of the local coal-fired power plant and the lignite opencast mine in Inden.

Sometimes the old and the new are very close together. This is also the case for the community of Inden near Düren: In 2011, the city of Düren erected the largest solar park in North Rhine-Westphalia at that time – in the immediate vicinity of the Inden opencast lignite mine. The city erected more than 16,000 photovoltaic modules with a total capacity of 3.8 megawatts on a former landfill site. The District of Düren founded a project company with RURENERGIE GmbH for the express purpose of driving the development of renewable energies forward in the region.

Engine for progress:

  • the largest solar park in NRW up until 2012
  • utilisation of a former landfill site
  • power supply for 1,000 households is possible
  • regional added value through regional planners
  • implementation in consideration of the local bird population

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Photo: F&S solar concept GmbH

16,000 modules with a total capacity of 3.8 megawatts were installed. The initiator of the 10 million euro project was the district of Düren, which established RurEnergie GmbH for the express purpose of driving the development of renewable energies forward in the district. The Stadtwerke Düren  municipal utilities company and Sparkasse Düren savings bank are also partners.



Builder waits until the breeding season is over

"Solar Park Inden was quite a special project", explains Georg Schmiedel, Managing Director of F&S Solar, which constructed the solar park. "All participants were pulling in the same direction". And mother nature's rights were also respected: Because there was a common stonechat nesting on the site, those responsible for the project waited until the breeding season was over to begin construction. In addition to this, they also leased a compensation area measuring 36,000 square metres for the solar park. However, the animal residents do not disturb the solar panels very much. On the contrary: Ground-breeders prefer the areas under the panels because they are protected from birds of prey and from the weather.

Local Energy Transformer Drives the Change Forward

While the electricity meter is turning at Solar Park Inden, RURENERGIE is continuing to build at a lively pace. "In the meanwhile, the project company has more than 4.5 megawatts of solar power plant capacity in its portfolio. And the first wind power participation has also been realised", explains Lothar Koullen, Authorised Representative for RURENERGIE. That is made apparent by the climate balance: The gigantic solar park saves 2,400 tonnes of CO2 in one year. Soon Inden may therefore be known less for its lignite excavators and more as a driving force behind the transformation of the energy system.


F&S Solar Concept

"This is how I envision an energy revolution."

Georg Schmiedel, Managing Director F&S Solar Concept



Partners and sponsors


Partners:
  • Rurenergie GmbH (Stadtwerke Düren)
  • F&S Solar concept GmbH
  • Stadtwerke Düren GmbH (Gesellschafter der RURENERGIE)