Repowering the local community
Setting the Scene
At BayWa r.e. we’ve always seen the future of renewable energy schemes placed firmly in the hands of the communities that benefit from them.
So, when the German region of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern brought in the Citizens and Municipalities Participation Act in May 2016, we saw this as a fantastic opportunity to start future-proofing our processes and get local citizens involved.
The act states that wind farm developments in the area must offer at least 20 per cent of shares to people living in the immediate vicinity and to the local municipality, so we reviewed our timelines and sought to bring them in on the project as early as possible.
Meeting the Challenge
The Schönberg wind farm, located between Lübeck and Schwerin, was also BayWa r.e.’s first repowering project in Germany. The aim was to turn an ageing and disused plant into a modern, superefficient power producer for the benefit of neighboring communities.
We dismantled seven V44 wind turbines after almost 20 years of operation. Replaced with eight new, more powerful E92 ENERCON turbines, the total output of the wind farm was increased from around 4 MW to around 19 MW.
BayWa r.e. was responsible for the planning and realisation of the project, which was sold to a local citizen’spartnership. Collaborating with the new owners throughout the project, BayWa r.e. also enlisted the help of citizen co-ownership experts from NaturEnergie Region Hannover to make sure the plant fully complied with the new act.
Getting the Result
Four years on from the introduction of the Citizens and Municipalities Participation Act, BayWa r.e. has brought the Schönberg wind farm online to fall underneath this new law – proving that involving citizens and communities as stakeholders not only makes sense but can also be realised in practice.
The turnkey project has now been handed over to its new owners, Bürgerwindpark Schönberg, whose top priority is the community benefit. We’re delighted that the future consumers of the electricity generated by the wind farm will be able to reap the benefits for years to come.
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.