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Working together to implement the energy transition in Hesse: Green City AG is involved in the wind energy projects of Koehler Renewable Energy GmbH.
Green City AG is involved in the wind energy projects of Koehler Renewable Energy GmbH. Green City , a subsidiary of environmental organization Green City e.V., plans, constructs, and operates solar, wind, and hydroelectric power plants – and finances these facilities by means of investment funds open to the public. With this partnership relating to the planned wind farms, the two companies are together further promoting the expansion of wind energy in Hesse and thus pursuing the formulated energy goals of the state government of Hesse. A building permit application has been submitted for one of the projects; preparations are currently underway for the submission of building permit applications for other projects – with these preparations expected to be completed by fall. In order to facilitate the successful completion of wind farm projects in the current regulatory environment, planning specialists are currently devising the optimum configuration in terms of turbine type and farm layout. The project partners intend to go public with more detailed information this fall.
Koehler Renewable Energy was established in 2012 and is part of the Koehler Group. The Group can look back on more than 200 years of experience in paper manufacturing and is the global market leader in the production of various special papers. CEO Kai Furler clearly defined the goal of the energy activities: “Over the long term, we want to generate more green energy than we consume in the production of paper.” Koehler now operates six biomass power plants in Germany, a wind farm in Scotland, and several hydroelectric power plants. The collaboration with Green City AG pools the expertise and knowledge of both companies, allowing them to successfully implement wind energy projects in Hesse.
As the subsidiary of a nonprofit environmental organization, a key element of Green City AG’s corporate philosophy is collaborating with cooperation partners, utility companies, cities, local authorities, and cooperatives. “Our goal is a citizen-led energy transition,” says Jens Mühlhaus, Company Spokesman for Green City AG. “To achieve this, it’s especially important now in the days of EEG tendering to enter into sensible partnerships and more effectively promote the energy transition through combined strengths. We’re delighted to have found a suitable partner in Koehler Renewable Energy GmbH to help us complete joint wind projects in Hesse.”
Energy Transition: Wind Turbines Play a Key Role in Achieving Climate Protection Targets in Hesse
With the wind turbines planned in collaboration with the Koehler Group, Green City AG is expanding its wind activities into the German state of Hesse. “Hesse still has a great deal of potential to offer in the area of wind energy,” says Jens Mühlhaus. “The state wants all of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2050, with wind energy contributing half of it. Renewable energies accounted for more than 30 percent of the energy supply in 2015, with wind energy contributing only about five percent. There’s still a lot to be done.” There are plenty of attractive locations in the low mountain range. “Between 2014 and 2019, the CDU and Green state government plans to triple the installed wind energy capacity in Hesse. To reach this goal, an average of 400 MW would need to be added each year,” says Nicolas Christoph, authorized representative of Koehler Renewable Energy GmbH. “That’s where our collaboration comes in.”
For the city of Wetzlar – in whose limits some of the wind turbines are set to be erected – the turbines represent a key aspect of the local climate protection plan. “The city of Wetzlar takes the local energy transition extremely seriously – and we want to effectively harness our renewable energy potential,” comments Norbert Kortlüke, Wetzlar’s Environmental Officer. “This is not only good for the environment, but also benefits our regional value creation.”
Current Planning Status in Wetzlar: Preparation of Building Permit Applications
The planned wind farms in the Blasbach and Hermannstein districts are situated in priority locations as per the forward projection for wind energy in the subregional energy plan for central Hesse. In respect of the Wetzlar-Blasbach project, the building permit application has already been submitted to the local authorities – and is currently under review. As soon as the preliminary planning in Hermannstein is completed in fall, the second building permit application will be submitted. “At this point, we will be able to provide more information in terms of the number of planned wind turbines, the turbine type, and the planned layout in respect of both wind farm projects,” says Christoph, explaining the current position.