BASF Commissions Solar Farm at Schwarzheide

08.09.2022 - BASF Schwarzheide, subsidiary of the German-multinational chemical group, together with local east German utility company Envia Mitteldeutsche Energie, has commissioned the region’s first solar farm. The project was announced by BASF last year as part of its plans to focus on renewable energy for its chemical production.

The new facility that costs €13 million to build was financed entirely by the operating partners. With a total installed capacity of 24 megawatts peak (MWp) and an expected electricity output of 25 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually, it is the first major solar project to be implemented by BASF with a partner.

The chemical group will hold the 51% majority share in the operating company, BASF EnviaM Solarpark Schwarzheide, with the utility owning the remaining 49%.

With around 52,000 photovoltaic modules and a transformer, the solar farm is expected to meet about 10% of the average “green” electricity needs at Lusatia, Germany, the future site of BASF’s first production facility for cathode materials used in batteries.

Uwe Liebelt, president of the Ludwigshafen group’s European Verbund Sites and chairman of the supervisory board of BASF Schwarzheide, called the plant an important milestone in the development of future technologies at the east German site, which Jürgen Fuchs, the subsidiary’s CEO, said aims to become one of BASF’s first CO2-neutral production sites.

At the commissioning ceremony, Jörg Steinbach, economics minister of the German state of Brandenburg, said the solar farm demonstrates that electricity from PV ground-mounted systems “has become competitive and can also do without subsidies.”

Steinbach said the project contributes to achieving the German government's goal of increasing the share of renewable energies in gross electricity consumption to at least 80% by 2030.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist