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Shell to build world's largest solar plant

Royal Dutch/Shell Group announced Tuesday that it will build the world’s biggest solar energy plant near the city of Leipzig in eastern Germany.
/ Source: Reuters

Royal Dutch/Shell Group announced Tuesday that it will build the world’s biggest solar energy plant near the city of Leipzig in eastern Germany.

The $27 million plant is to meet the power demand of around 1,800 households and will be created in cooperation with German project developer Geosol and industrial partners such as Siemens, the company’s solar unit Shell Solar said.

“We will start building at the end of March or the start of April and plan to connect it to the electricity network in July,” said a spokesman.

“The station will help to save some 3,700 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.”

The plant’s 33,500 solar modules, with a total output capacity of five megawatts, will be erected on a former lignite mine ash deposit.

Solar power is supported by the German government though a law that guarantees above-market rates for electricity produced from renewable sources.

In Germany, an estimated 400 MW of solar power capacity had been installed by the end of 2003, but the share of solar energy in national power production was still less than one percent, Europe’s largest solar industry association UVS said late last year.

Industry sales and installed capacity growth rates are expected to reach 20 to 30 percent this year, it said.