CLEAN WATER THANKS TO CLEAN ELECTRICITY: GROUND MOUNTED PV SYSTEM FOR THE LINKENHEIM-HOCHSTETTEN SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANTLudwigshafen , 03.09.18
The recently completed photovoltaic power plant of the municipality Linkenheim-Hochstetten in the district of Karlsruhe is for the team of PFALZSOLAR a superlative of a different kind: It is the smallest ground mounted PV power plant that the Pfalzwerke subsidiary has built so far in Germany. With an capacity of 57 kilowatt peak (kWp), the plant produces just over 57,000 kilowatt hours of environmentally friendly solar power per year, which the municipality consumes almost completely to operate the Linkenheim-Hochstetten sewage treatment plant. Only 5% of the energy produced goes into the public power grid.
“A photovoltaic system of this size is usually installed on the roof of commercial and industrial companies. However, the sewage treatment plant does not have a suitable roof area, which is why we have developed a special solution for the municipality of Linkenheim-Hochstetten,” explains Dominic Lauer, Head of Private and Business Customer Sales at PFALZSOLAR. As with numerous multi-megawatt ground-mounted systems, the steel substructure was driven almost 1.7 metres deep into the ground to ensure a permanently high level of stability. And just as with major projects, a building permit was also required for the power plant at the sewage treatment plant before the PFALZSOLAR team could start the construction and installation of the 200 solar modules.
Peter Ziegler, who supervises the project on behalf of the municipality of Linkenheim-Hochstetten, is more than satisfied with the result: “A sewage treatment plant needs electricity around the clock – and produces electricity costs around the clock. Our goal was to optimize electricity costs in the most sustainable and environmentally friendly way possible. Now, from sunrise to sunset, we use solar power and thus save the environment more than 30 tons of CO2 every year. At the same time, we reduce our energy costs with every kilowatt hour of electricity we use ourselves. All in all, a clean bill.” It is no coincidence that the municipality of Linkenheim-Hochstetten chose PFALZSOLAR as a partner for the implementation: “With PFALZSOLAR we have found a reliable and flexible specialist with whom we were able to push the project forward on an equal footing as partners. That PFALZSOLAR is part of the Pfalzwerke Group and has a municipal background is a clear plus for us”. Says Ziegler.
The model of a “mini ground mounted system” can also be transferred to other locations, namely wherever there is no suitable roof area but unused land available. Dominic Lauer emphasizes: “The PV project at the Linkenheim-Hochstetten sewage treatment plant is another great example for us of how communities can actively contribute to the energy transition. This commitment pays off not only for the environment, but also economically.”