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Energy farm to help German municipality go CO2-free by 2030

Green Solar and Siemens Energy have signed an agreement to develop a concept for Herzogenrath in Aachen that could make the city a national and international leader in the energy transition.

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What the energy supply in Herzogenrath could look like from 2030 onwards
What the energy supply in Herzogenrath could look like from 2030 onwards

Green Solar and Siemens Energy have signed a cooperation agreement to develop a concept to make the German municipality of Herzogenrath in Aachen CO2-free by 2030.

 

It marks a major milestone in the planning, building, and operating of an energy farm in the grounds of the gravel and sand company Nivelsteiner Sandwerke in Herzogenrath, which is aiming to cover the city’s energy demand.

 

Viable concept

 

Based on this agreement, the partners will develop an economically viable concept aimed at seeking available funding from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, the federal German government, and the EU for the long-standing mining region between Aachen, Germany, and the Netherlands.

 

“Subject to sufficient funding, the energy farm could be operated by an operating company still to be established by Green Solar,” said Green Solar managing directors, Franz-Josef Türck-Hövener and Charles Russel in a joint statement.

 

They added: “Not only would the Herzogenrath Energy Farm be an important, sustainable step toward successful structural change for the region, but it would also make the city known both nationally and internationally as a forerunner and technology leader of the transition to a new energy mix.”

 

Siemens Energy offers a wide range of flexible, decentralised energy solutions, such as balancing energy supply and demand with battery storage systems for supporting transmission grids, and power-to-X technology for generating hydrogen.

 

Building on an existing solar farm operated by Green Solar, the concept involves, among other things, expanding the generation of power from solar energy as well as building a number of wind turbines. The power generated from renewable sources will be stored and converted into electricity during times when no energy is produced from sun and wind, and supplied to homes in Herzogenrath, a city of 46,000 residents.

“It would also make the city known both nationally and internationally as a forerunner and technology leader of the transition to a new energy mix”

The heat produced through these processes as well as that generated from renewable sources will be used to supply local households with “green” heat via district heating networks.

 

Dr Thomas Neuenhahn, Siemens project manager, said: “We’re talking about a lighthouse project for a successful energy transition in Germany, one that has international appeal. We welcome the opportunity to make a substantial contribution to these efforts as part of a strong team with our partner Green Solar Herzogenrath.”

 

Electric vehicles

 

The CO2-free Herzogenrath concept project also has the potential to not only generate electricity for the city’s households, but also to enable its use for the growing number of electric vehicles. Local industrial companies are also expected to be brought on board the project through their decarbonisation activities.

 

Specifically, the concept is intended to provide the most energy-efficient connection and most economical combination of solar power plants, wind turbines, batteries, CHP and combined cycle power plants, as well as heat and hydrogen storage systems. This also includes the entire logistics for transporting the energy to end users based on demand.

 

A hydrogen production facility is also planned into the mix. With the aid of the latest Silyzer 300 technology from Siemens, excess electricity will be converted into hydrogen by means of electrolysis and either stored or used for operating cars. However, this hydrogen may also be employed to decarbonise trucks, buses, trains, and industrial plants, for example for CO2-free drying of sands at Nivelsteiner Sandwerke.

 

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