Airbus inks 3.85 GWh/yr solar PPA for German plant

Image by GP JOULE GmbH.

December 15 (Renewables Now) - Airbus Helicopters, part of aerospace and defence group Airbus (EPA:AIR), has agreed to procure about 3.85 GWh of green electricity per year from a 3.5-MWp solar park, which will be built in southern Germany, to power its factory for helicopters and aircraft doors in Bavaria.

The electricity will be supplied by GP JOULE GmbH under a power purchase agreement (PPA), the German energy solutions company said on Tuesday.

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The ground-mounted park featuring nearly 8,000 solar modules will be located on an area of some 4.6 hectares (11.37 acres) in the municipality of Tapfheim, southern Germany. GP JOULE will build and operate the facility without any subsidies under the EEG scheme. A construction permit has been already secured and works on the installation of the modules are scheduled to commence at the start of 2022.

The electricity from the park will be supplied to the Airbus factory in the Bavarian town of Donauwoerth through a direct line of about 6 km (3.72 mi). The plant is Airbus’ main helicopter production site in Germany and produces some 80% of all doors used on Airbus jetliners. The site provides also maintenance and equipment services for Bundeswehr helicopters.

A long-term supply contract like this one will enable the owner of the solar park to produce at low prices while supplying the customer with the needed electricity at low costs, said GP JOULE's co-founder and CTO Heinrich Gaertner.

Patrick Augustin, project manager at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) Swabia, expects more PPAs to follow because they secure reliable framework conditions for companies in the long term amid increasing energy costs and carbon emission prices.

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