Templin Solar Photovoltaic Power Plant, Brandenburg, Germany


Templin PV

Templin solar power plant is a 128.5MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project located in Brandenburg, Germany. Developed by Belectric, it is the third largest plant of its type in Germany and the largest thin-film solar project in Europe.

The facility is owned by Commerz Real and was built with an investment of $269m, as part of the energy strategy 2030 that was adopted by the Brandenburg state to develop renewable energy sources.

Approximately 1.5 million thin-film PV modules are installed at the plant and commercial operations began in April 2013.

The plant generates 120 million kWh of power a year, which is enough to meet the energy needs of 36,000 households. It is expected to offset approximately 90,000t of greenhouse gas emissions a year.

Power plant location and design

"Approximately 1.5 million thin-film PV modules are installed at the plant."

The project site is a former airfield at Gross Dölln, which was once the biggest Soviet military airport in Central Europe. The facility spans 214ha and includes eight power plants.

The power ratio of the Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) thin-film PV modules installed at the plant is equal to that of a conventional solar module. Modules also have a faster energy payback time and less carbon footprint compared to conventional solar modules.

Belectric's 3MW block technology is installed. This system ensures maximum optimisation and grid integration, which maximises the production and minimises production costs. Dynamic controls are included in the intelligent power plant technology to regulate the voltage and minimise grid fluctuations.

The reactive power that is generated is counteracted by the special electronics system, which improve grid stability. Additional energy can be added to the grid without the need for further grid expansions.

Useless reactive power is balanced out by a phase shifter.

Inverter technology



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Templin is equipped with 114 Sunny Central 900CPXT inverters manufactured by SMA. These are designed to work efficiently in cold temperatures and feature OptiCool intelligent temperature management system, which helps them adapt quickly to the temperature-variations of the PV arrays.

The grid management function of the inverters provides leading or lagging reactive power at all times. It also helps in minimising the need for additional compensation system by compensating for the leading reactive power generated.

Construction and grid connection

Electricity generated at Templin will power the city of Berlin. The plant was connected to the energy grid in Templin, Brandenburg, in April 2013.

Construction took four months and created approximately 400 jobs. The major works included the installation of solid steel and beams, photovoltaic modules, electrical systems and cabling system, as well as a GPS and laser measuring system.

Contractors

"Germany aims to produce 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020."

Photovoltaic modules were supplied by First Solar, while Belectric Solarkraftwerke was awarded the EPC contract for the project.

The contractual scope of work included the installation of solar panels, plant commissioning, grid connection and power generation.

Financing

A long-term debt financing came from Bayerische Landesbank and UniCredit Bank. In addition, an equity financing worth $66m was provided by the CFB Fund 180.

German solar power market

Germany is one of the world's leading solar photovoltaic installers, with PV-generated power totalling 38.5GW by the end of 2014.

Solar PV-generated power comprises 6.9% of the country's net electricity consumption and is produced by approximately 1.4 million PV systems.

In 2012, solar PV installations in Germany totalled 7.6GW, increasing to approximately 35.7GW by 2013 and accounting for around 27% of the total PV capacity installed worldwide.

Germany aims to produce 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020.