The project developer and renewable energy expert BayWa r.e. has installed the first new wind farm under the recently introduced community shared ownership and benefit law (Bürger- und Gemeindenbeteiligungsgesetz, BüGem) that came into force in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in 2016. The Schönberg wind farm, located between Lübeck and Schwerin, generates a total output of 18.8MW and will start to operate to full capacity in the next few weeks.
The wind farm was financed by UmweltBank and was sold to Bürgerwindpark Schönberg GmbH & Co. KG, a local citizen’s cooperative. In the course of this repowering project, seven wind power turbines that had been in operation for around twenty years were dismantled and replaced with eight Enercon Type E92 turbines with a hub height of 149 metres and an output of 2.3MW each.
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s minister for energy infrastructure and digitalisation Christian Pegel was delighted by the successful completion: “The project proves that involving citizens and communities more as stakeholders not only makes sense but can also be realised in practice. We already understood years ago that we must promote the local level of acceptance when it comes to new wind farms. With the new community shared ownership and benefit law, we have taken on the responsibility for this – in order to ensure the successful implementation of the energy revolution in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and beyond.”
BayWa r.e. was responsible for the planning and realisation of the Schönberg wind farm. Rainer Heyduck, Managing Director of BayWa r.e. Wind GmbH, emphasises: “Despite some challenges in consequence of the new law concerning the realisation of wind projects, we explicitly welcome the new community shareholding and benefit approach and are proud of the fact that we were the first company to install a wind farm in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern under the new framework conditions. It is obvious that we in the wind industry must invest even more efforts into explaining the advantages and benefits of wind energy in future in order to address the widespread prejudices.”
Marcus Biermann, CEO of Bürgerenergiewindpark Schönberg, adds: “Due to the collaborative operation offer, our cooperative became involved in the project at a very early stage of the development, and we are delighted that we will now, after our acquisition of the turnkey project from BayWa r.e., be jointly responsible for the operation of the wind farm. Our top priority is the community benefit and therefore also the advantages the future consumers of the electricity generated by the wind farm will enjoy. BayWa r.e.’s fantastic support and professional project management as well as the support of our finance provider, UmweltBank, paved the way for generating our electricity with wind power.”
“UmweltBank has always driven the energy revolution. The acceptance of renewable energy depends considerably on citizen stakeholder projects like the wind farm in Schönberg. It is therefore very important to us to finance such groundbreaking projects. We are delighted that the experienced wind farm project managers from BayWa r.e. and the citizen co-ownership experts from NaturEnergie Region Hannover collaborated so successfully with the citizens of Schönberg, and that this flagship project was completed with our support,” says André Hückstädt, head of UmweltBank’s energy and infrastructure department.