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German Traction Power Grid Goes Greener with Deutsche Bahn's First Solar Power Input

German Traction Power Grid Goes Greener with Deutsche Bahn's First Solar Power Input
photo: Deutsche Bahn/German Traction Power Grid Goes Greener with Deutsche Bahn's First Solar Power Input
24 / 04 / 2023

For the first time, Deutsche Bahn is feeding green electricity directly into the German traction power grid. To this end, DB and the open-space photovoltaic project developer ENERPARC have commissioned a new solar plant in Wasbek, Schleswig-Holstein. The solar plant in Wasbek covers an area of around 40 hectares, which is roughly equivalent to 70 football pitches. The electricity generated there is fed directly into the 16.7 Hz traction current grid via the DB converter plant in Neumünster.

Berthold Huber, Member of the Management Board for Infrastructure at Deutsche Bahn: "Deutsche Bahn is already Germany's largest user of green electricity. In addition to wind and water energy, solar energy is increasingly becoming one of the renewable energy sources in our traction current mix. In Wasbek, we are now feeding solar power directly into the traction current grid for the first time in a pilot project. With this, we at DB are consistently pursuing our path of continuously increasing the share of green electricity in our traction current mix."

Christoph Koeppen, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of ENERPARC AG: "What is special about the solar park in Wasbek is that, in contrast to the established grid connection criteria in the public electricity grid, it was possible for the first time to work out a corresponding solution for connections in the traction power grid. We are proud not only to have carried out this innovation in the grid connection of renewable energies together with Deutsche Bahn but also to be moving closer to our goal of developing a total of 10 GW of PV systems worldwide for our own portfolio and a further 10 GW for third-party solar portfolios by 2030."

Modules with a capacity of 41 megawatt-peak (MWp) are expected to generate about 38 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy annually, equivalent to one day's electricity demand in the entire German railway power grid. With the commissioning of the solar plant in Wasbek, up to 18,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year can be saved in the future, compared to the use of grey electricity.

DB operates its own traction current network in Germany and already covers more than 65 per cent of traction current with renewable energies. It is far above the public green power mix in Germany of currently around 46 per cent. In long-distance transport, passengers have already been travelling with 100 per cent green electricity since 2018. By 2038, all DB traction power - ten terawatt-hours per year - will be 100 per cent green. In addition, DB will supply its plants, office buildings and stations in Germany entirely with green electricity by 2025. To this end, the Group subsidiary DB Energie is fundamentally restructuring its portfolio of contract power plants and supply contracts. Renewable energies are gradually and consistently replacing fossil fuels.

ENERPARC AG is an internationally active specialist for solar power plants in the megawatt segment and is active as a developer, builder, operator and investor of large-scale solar power plants. Founded in Hamburg in 2008, the company now employs over 400 people and, in addition to its core market of Germany, is also active in Spain, France, Portugal, India and Australia. In recent years, ENERPARC has successfully connected more than 600 solar plants with an output of over 4,100 megawatts to the grid worldwide - 3,000 megawatts of which are generated by its own solar power plants - and has risen to become one of the largest independent electricity producers for solar energy in Europe. By 2030, ENERPARC's goal is to develop a total of 10 GW of PV plants worldwide for its own portfolio and another 10 GW for third-party solar portfolios.

Source: Deutsche Bahn