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1720618200000 | Press Release

Cooperation driving the energy transition: Companies open joint solar park complex in Külsheim

Joint large-scale solar park involving EnBW, Thüga Erneuerbare Energien and Stadtwerk Tauberfranken / Baden-Württemberg's Environment Minister Thekla Walker: “Gickelfeld solar park represents a big leap toward achieving our climate action goals”
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The largest solar park complex currently in operation in Baden-Württemberg is located in Külsheim (Main-Tauber district). Source: Sebastian Cintio / CFK-Thermodrone

Külsheim. The largest solar park complex currently in operation in the state of Baden-Württemberg was opened in an official ceremony on 10 July 2024 in Külsheim (Main-Tauber District). In her speech, Thekla Walker, Baden-Württemberg’s Minister for the Environment, Climate Action and Energy Affairs, stressed the important role played by the joint model project in the energy transition. The plant has a total installed output of 68 megawatts – which means that it can supply the equivalent of around 24,000 households with solar power. This is a joint project involving EnBW, Thüga Erneuerbare Energien and Stadtwerk Tauberfranken. The complex comprises two large solar parks, for which a common infrastructure has been built, including the grid connection, substation, cable route and path network.

For Peter Heydecker, EnBW’s Board Member for Generation, the focus is on the synergy effects created by the cooperation between the partners: “The energy transition is a major project for society as a whole. Efficiency and cost-effectiveness within the projects are indispensable to their success. Partnerships and the joint use of infrastructure are of considerable value when it comes to generating synergies. The solar park in Külsheim is a prime example of how such a cooperation can work. These plants can be built and operated without state funding as part of the Renewable Energies Act.”

Dr. Norbert Schön, Managing Director of Stadtwerk Tauberfranken: “We are delighted to have been able to build Gickelfeld solar park in Külsheim together with Thüga Erneuerbare Energien and EnBW. The marketing of all the electricity generated in the plant by us and our partners demonstrates how the energy transition can be a success at local level. At Stadtwerk Tauberfranken, we are confident that we can shape the future together in a sustainable manner with strong cooperation partnerships like this.”

“Achieving success together. From the landowner to the project planners and fitters. Everyone played their part in making it happen. This is especially true of the political decision-makers at local level, who made the project possible with their proficiency and openness. That is what still motivates me after more than 20 years of renewable energy,” explained Thomas Walther, Managing Director of Thüga Erneuerbare Energien.

Environment Minister Thekla Walker said: “We have ambitious climate action goals in Baden-Württemberg. We want to move away from fossil fuels toward climate-friendly energy sources as quickly as possible. We want a secure and independent energy system. Our journey there involves taking many individual steps. Gickelfeld solar park represents a big leap forward. It is a prime example of how great things can be achieved by working together. I am really pleased that the park will further boost the good expansion figures in the solar sector, thereby sending an important signal to the people who live in the state: We are on the right track, together we can achieve our goals.”

The larger of the two solar parks is located in the southern section of the site. It was built by Thüga Erneuerbare Energien in conjunction with Stadtwerk Tauberfranken and has an installed photovoltaic output of around 38 megawatts. Bordering it to the north, with an installed output of around 30 megawatts, is the solar park operated by EnBW. Both solar parks are being operated without any funding under the Renewable Energies Act (EEG).

About Energie Baden-Württemberg AG (EnBW)

With a workforce of some 27,000 employees, EnBW is one of the largest energy supply companies in Germany and Europe. It supplies electricity, gas and water together with infrastructure and energy-related products and services to around 5.5 million customers. In the company’s transformation from a traditional energy provider to a sustainable infrastructure group, the expansion of renewable energy sources and of the distribution and transportation grids for electricity and gas are cornerstones of EnBW’s growth strategy and the focus of its investment spending. Between 2023, and 2025, EnBW plans gross investment totaling €14 billion, largely in accelerating the implementation of the energy transition. EnBW aims for renewables to account for over half of its generation portfolio by as early as the end of 2025 and to phase out coal by the end of 2028. These are key milestones on the way to the company being carbon-neutral by 2035.


About Thüga Erneuerbare Energien

Based in Hamburg, Thüga Erneuerbare Energien GmbH & Co. KG (THEE) is a joint venture made up of 50 public utilities of the Thüga Group. Since 2010, THEE has been identifying, planning, financing and building wind farms and solar parks throughout Germany. The focus here is on cooperation partnerships with public utilities and municipalities. It aims to almost double its portfolio to 1,000 MW by 2030.

About Stadtwerk Tauberfranken

With its 120 employees, Stadtwerk Tauberfranken is the regional driver of the energy and transport transition and is committed to actively mitigating climate change in the region, not least by expanding the district heating grid and operating the natural thermal power plant in Bad Mergentheim. In addition to the reliable supply of electricity, gas, heat and water, as well as Internet and telephone services, the public utility is involved in the regional expansion of renewable energy sources and alternative mobility solutions. Sustainable operation of the natural thermal power plant using landscape maintenance material, roadside vegetation and wood chips from the region generates heat and electricity that can meet the needs of approx. 2,500 households. Stadtwerk Tauberfranken has set out its path toward climate neutrality in its Roadmap 2030 strategy. This involves switching to a fossil-free energy supply as well as embracing climate-neutral operation across its sites. Since municipalities in particular have an active role to play in shaping a climate-neutral future as providers of public services, the public utility currently has ten municipalities from the region with a stake in the company and offers municipal advice on climate change mitigation. In order to drive the energy transition beyond regional borders, the public utility is actively involved in Thüga Erneuerbare Energien GmbH and thus in nationwide renewable energy projects.

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