Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Meyer Burger solar panel manufacturer
Credit: Meyer Burger

Clean Power

Meyer Burger Plans 10 Gigawatts Of Floating Solar For North Rhine-Westphalia

Swiss technology company Meyer Burger is considering a new solar panel factory that could be used to install 10 GW of floating solar on top of the largest lake in North Rhine – Westphalia.

Swiss technology company and solar panel manufacturer Meyer Burger is getting killed by Asian competition in the low efficiency, low cost segment of the market. In response, its CEO, Gunter Erfurt, told a local radio station recently his company is developing plans to build a state of the art solar panel factory in Germany to manufacture more costly heterojunction solar panels that are up to 24% efficient.

Meyer Burger solar panel manufacturer

Image credit: Meyer Burger

The high output solar panels are the result of a collaboration between the company, Norwegian solar module maker REC Group, and a tech spinoff based on research by Oxford University. The output of the factory could be used to construct 10 gigawatts (GW) of floating solar on top of the lake left behind by the closure of the Hambach coal mine in the state of North Rhine – Westphalia.

A 10 GW solar facility would exceed the combined generating capacity of  the Weisweiler, Neurath, Niederaußem, and Frimmersdorf coal-fired power plants in the region and would help Germany reduce its dependence on coal generation. While Erfurt has not specified where in Germany the new factory will be constructed, he hinted it might be in the same state, which borders the Netherlands and Belgium.

Construction and operation of the floating solar facility could help replace some of the 10,000 jobs expected to be lost in the local coal industry in coming years. It would also reduce evaporation from what is now the largest lake in North Rhine – Westphalia.

Hambach coal mine

Hambach coal mine. Image credit: RWE

Hambach has been a flashpoint in German politics for a number of years, particularly because of utility company RWE’s plan to cut down what little remains of the Hambach forest to strip mine the coal buried beneath it. At the end of 2018, Hamburg-based green electricity provider Greenpeace Energy offered to buy electric utility RWE’s lignite division in a bid to close down coal-fired power plants in the ‘Rheinische Revier’ area by 2025 and replace them with 8.2 GW of solar and wind project capacity. According to PV Magazine, that bid was rejected by the power company, which has since announced it will shut down all mining and coal generation operations — eventually.

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: Cruise Talks Autonomous Driving Tech, Regulations, & Auto Design

New Podcast: Battery Mineral Mining Policies & Regional Trends

Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like


Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicles reach 22.5% share in March 2021, a growth of over 2.4× from March 2020 (9.2%...


Welcome to China × Cleantech — February 2021 edition. Our China x Cleantech series covers top cleantech stories in China each month. EV Sales 8.4% Of...


Audi recently announced that it wants to cut its water consumption in half by 2035. That’s a much bigger task than it sounds like,...


According to our German friend on the ground there, it was said today at a meeting of the Brandenburg Committee for Infrastructure and Regional...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.