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Published on June 14th, 2012 | by Thomas Gerke


Watch the Construction of a 10-MW Solar Power Plant in Germany

June 14th, 2012 by  


The 10-MW solar power plant pictured above is located at the northern slope of a gravel and sand pit near the German city of Aachen. When the construction is finished, it will cover an area of roughly 75,000 square meters. In European terms: more than 10 soccer fields.

In order to achieve a capacity of 10 MW, a total of 44,000 solar modules are being installed. It will be the largest solar power plant in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and will produce enough clean electricity for about 3,000 average 4-person households.

The solar power plant will be operated by a new-founded joint venture consisting of the company that owns the gravel and sand pit and a regional power, gas and water supplier called EWV. The two companies shared the total initial investment cost of about €12 million Euro evenly.

Both the solar power plant and the gravel and sand pit will end their operations about 30 years from now. At that time, in the 2040s, the solar modules will be recycled, the pit will be filled up with soil, and renaturalization of the area will begin.

Installation of the modules began on Monday and the opening ceremony is due on the 29th of June. Renewables grow up so fast.…

You can watch the “show” live by following this link: ewv.live.netcamviewer.de (not a lot of action at the moment, but hopefully there is when you pop in).

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About the Author

is a close observer of the scientific, political and economic energy debate in Germany and around the globe. Inspired by the life's work of the renewable energy advocate Hermann Scheer, Thomas focuses on spreading information that showcase the possibilities & opportunities of a 100% renewable energy system. Though technology is key for this energy shift, he also looks at the socio-economic benefits and the political, as well as structural barriers.

  • Can i know how much energy KWh will be produce from 10MW PV power plant ??

    • Bob_Wallace

      Using the Solar Handbook numbers for Aachen, assuming that the panels are facing due south and optimized for best summer performance (54 degree tilt) it looks like 3.1 kWh/m2/day which works out to be a 13% capacity factor.


      10 MW * 0.13 * 365 = 474.5 MWh. 474,500 kWh.

      474,500 / 3,000 households / 365 days = 0.43 kWh per household per day. Which leaves me wondering if I made a math error…..

      In 2010 German households used 3512 kWh/year = 9.62 kWh


      474,500 kWh / 9.62 / 365 = 135 households and that ain’t right.

      Perhaps they mean 42,000 will provide 3,000 homes power when the Sun is shining? That’s 14 panels per house.

      I must have screwed up the math….


      • green_alpaca

        Here’s how I worked it out:
        10MWp = 10,000kWp of solar PV
        We’re told that this is 44,000 panels, so each panel is therefore approximately 225kWp.

        A 225kWp panel is about 1.5m2 (250Wp is 1.65m2) – this is based on the current PV panels on the market, with an efficiency of around 20%.

        So, based on this data, we can say that there is approximately 66,000m2 of solar PV directed towards the solar resource in this situation.

        Taking Aachen (as you did) but then taking optimal year round tilt of 39degrees (I’m not 100% sure on this but I assume that utility scale solar is designed for optimal year round power generation rather than peaking in summer), results in an average solar insolation figure of 3.02kWh/m2/day.

        Now, since we know that there is 66,000m2 of solar PV, and it can convert solar energy to electrical energy at approximately 20% efficiency, we can say that 3.02kWh/m2/day x 66,000m2 x 365 = 14,550,360kWh/yr.

        This results in an average yearly usage for 3000 households of 4850kWh/yr/household…. or 13.2kWh/day/household… a bit over the average that you stated from shrinkthatfootprint, but still pretty close.


  • electroman

    I am now living in Pakistan after 32years of work overseas i see a great demand of solar energy in Pakistan I actaully have connection with potential clients for intially 10MW or higher power plant. If any,wel reputed company interested in joint venture, turn key, and finanaced project, please contact tariqj38@gmail.com

  • D.Brahmaji

    the topic is very nice..i want the further details like plan,process cost,requirements of the equipment etc., for 10MW solar power plant..so send me the details as soon as possible..

  • Don

    I wonder who is the panel manufacturer?

  • Ahmed amer

    please Need to know the price for 1-3.5 MW solar power plant

    • Bob_Wallace

      That’s difficult to provide. It depends on where the plant would be located, prices differ from country to country. Germany has been very aggressive and has brought their prices for large arrays to $1.50/watt or less. I think the US is roughly down to this level now. (For the panel part of the installation.)

      Land and land preparation costs are going to vary from place to place as are transmission costs. And probably the costs for permits, etc.

      Probably the best way for you to get good information is to seek out solar farms in your general area and talk to them about what current costs might be.

      You might give us your location and someone here might be aware of installations in your area.

  • I’ve just realised that at $1.50 a watt grid solar is competive with wind in Queensland, Australia.  Not that Queensland has any wind power, but it is a sunny place and electricity demand is well matched to PV output.  

    • I should mention that it is roughly competitive because electricity prices are higher during the day. 

  • 1.2 Euros a watt?  That’s $1.5 Australian (or US).  That would produce electricity for about 8 cents a kilowatt-hour in Australia.  That’s still more than our wholesale electricity prices, which may be the lowest in the world,  but it is astounding to see much the price of grid connected solar has dropped in such a short span of time.

  • need help building,,, man i’d go nut’s helping to build such an awesome solar facility like that,,  living here in the u.s. it’s hard to sell solar here in nys.  i love doing it.. my first system i did was a   7k system on a roof, nice  system.  love it.

    • ThomasGerke

      I think that you’ll get more work in the coming years. The technology is getting cheaper so fast and sooner than later grid parity will be reached even in nys. I certainly hope so at least.

      I have read that up to 135 people work there simultaneously at the hight of the construction efford. I guess there are well established teams that travel the country working on these kind of bigger projects. “Solarteure” (solar installers) at work.

  • tibi stibi

    interesting post!

    1) building a 10MW can be done in 2 weeks!
    2) 10MW (which seem almost 10mKh because of the 3000 households of 3000kWh per year) costs 12m euro, which makes it almost 1 euro per Wh

    ‘is located at the northern slope’
    i assume facing south 😉

    • Tonywillicombe

      1 euro / Wh? The 12m euro investment will last 30 years (though inverter replacements, module replacements – with more efficient ones probably – will add to the 12m). So 0.0333 euro / Wh?

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