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SENS builds solar parks for Trianel

Over 100,000 modules for Trianel

SENS installs five solar parks with a total capacity of 45 MWp for Trianel Energieprojekte GmbH & Co. KG (TEP)


The first rays of the day’s sun struggle to break through the mist still hanging over the vineyard-covered hills around Schleich, Rhineland Palatinate. The sunlight now strikes some 20,000 solar modules recently installed in an exposed position above the vines. While the narrow country lanes winding through the vineyards are very popular among hikers and nature lovers, they presented a special but not insoluble challenge during construction. In addition to this solar park, SENS has planned and built four other solar parks for TEP in the last twelve months. 

From September 2020 to February 2021, the PV experts from SENS completed a 9 MWp solar park along the A20 motorway in Falkenwalde, Brandenburg. The 27,000 modules standing on a 7.5 ha plot are now producing 9,000 MWh of electricity per year.

This was followed by the Schleich project in Rhineland Palatinate. This solar park, which stands on a 6 ha plot and has a capacity of 8 MWp, took just a few months to be completed and connected to the local grid. A complex logistics concept was necessary to ensure its construction ran smoothly. For example, the modules and transformers were unloaded at a nearby temporary storage area and placed on small trucks, which could successfully navigate the sharp bends on the lanes through the vineyards.

Five projects in twelve months

The projects at Zachow, Lübars and Naue were given the final go-ahead at the start of 2021 and have been completed in the last few weeks.

SENS had also to install a 6 km long cable, which was essential for the operation of the 10 MWp solar park at Zachow. After connection to the 110 kV substation, the 22,464 modules at Zachow have been supplying green electricity since May 2021.

In Lübars (Möckern), it took less than eight weeks to install another solar park for Trianel on a former Red Army military base. This area of land, which was hardly suitable for agriculture, has now been recycled and put to worthwhile use. Thanks to solar modules, these 7.3 hectares have been rehabilitated and will produce green electricity for the local grid over the next 20 to 30 years.

For the fifth project, SENS planned and installed a 10 MWp solar park at Nauen, not far from Zachow and Lübars in Brandenburg. Here over 22,000 modules, complete with special fire-protection systems (2 x 100,000 litres of extinguishing water), were installed near a high-speed rail line. This PV plant is planned to be connected to the grid by the end of this year.

Difficult terrain

The serpentine country lanes in the wine-growing hills around Schleich were not the only special aspect of the projects: cables had to be laid to the individual projects. Schleich and Zachow required particularly long cables to be installed using horizontal directional drilling (HDD), which was mainly used to pass under motorways, road crossings and streams. This particularly environmentally friendly method helped the team lay the cable runs at Zachow under roads and woods. In Schleich, HDD made the task of laying the cable in rocky ground much easier.

“By having SENS as our general contractor and EPC partner, we were able to complete and connect these sometimes extremely challenging projects to the grid on schedule. We were particularly impressed by our direct and straightforward working relationship on the project,” says Andreas Lemke, who is responsible for solar energy and an authorised signatory at Trianel Energieprojekte GmbH & Co. KG. Lemke adds that the projects are the first stage of an extensive construction programme at Trianel, which involves >100 MWp PV, several associated 110 kV substations and >40 MWh battery storage capacity.

About STEAG Solar Energy Solutions

STEAG Solar Energy Solutions GmbH (SENS) is a service provider based in Würzburg with worldwide operations in the field of renewable energies. Its range of services includes the development and construction of turnkey solar parks, the maintenance and operational management of PV systems and the implementation of energy solutions for commerce and industry – such as rooftop PV systems, e-charging stations and energy storage systems. SENS has been part of the STEAG Group since July 2019 and employs approx. 170 people at seven locations in Germany and abroad.

About Trianel

Trianel GmbH was founded in 1999 with the aim of bundling the interests of municipal utilities and municipal energy suppliers, and strengthening their independence and competitiveness on the energy market. This idea – to group together interests within a network – is now followed by over 100 shareholders and partners from the municipal sector. Together the Trianel shareholders supply more than six million people in Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. This makes Trianel the leading municipal utility network not only in Germany but in Europe as a whole. Trianel focuses on supporting municipal utilities in their supply responsibilities. In energy trading and procurement, municipal interests are bundled in a targeted manner and synergies exploited. Over the years, new business areas have been systematically developed. Trianel also operates in energy generation, gas storage and in the development of new business models for municipal utility companies.

Image: Solar park in Lübars | Uwe Hennemeier