Questions and answers about the GigawattFactory
LEAG's GigawattFactory is a modular, intelligent system of generation, storage and utilisation that makes green electricity base-load capable and thus reliably available. Parallel to the large-scale expansion of wind and solar power on post-mining land, storage solutions such as battery storage, thermal storage and hydrogen-capable plants are being built at fully developed power plant sites in Lusatia and central Germany. With the intelligent control and deployment optimisation of the plants and modules - an area in which we have had good practical experience for years - a high efficiency of the network is ensured.
The project will definitely be launched. The first planning procedures for larger renewable projects (Energiepark Bohrau, Windpark Forst-Briesnig II) that will contribute to the GigawattFactory are already underway.
We have examined and prepared this very intensively. We expect investments of more than ten billion euros, we have strong project planning and planning capacities in-house and with strategic partners. What we need is the prioritisation of renewables on our post-mining sites and the approval of the municipalities and authorities.
We need every kilowatt hour produced today and tomorrow. We offer the citizens of Germany the largest, most modern, most flexible and most reliable network of RE plants in the country. This is a milestone for the energy transition and an essential step towards import-independent electricity supply security.
The gradual decommissioning of power plant units is regulated in the phase-out path of the Coal Electricity Phase-out Act (KVBG), which is binding for us. It says the end of 2038, and that applies to us.
The focus is clearly on adapting to new job profiles and personnel requirements. We are expanding our core competences in the areas of plant operation, maintenance, approval and basic administrative areas. To systemically accompany this personnel transformation, we have founded an educational alliance with the Association for Renewable Energies and the IBFF (QLEE) in 2022. So we take this task very seriously.
Very roughly estimated, we assume that by 2030 more than 1,000 employees will be directly or indirectly involved with the new RE pillar.
Green power is the decisive location factor. Economic developers, district councillors and mayors, with whom we speak regularly , say quite clearly: green energy in this volume and the smart quality with storage, base load capability, etc. will be a booster for the region.
No. We continue to meet all the requirements for reclamation that are imposed on us in the respective lignite plans and operating plans under mining law.
In the case of land that is also suitable for green energy use, the type of use may have to be changed, but we will pursue the expansion of renewable energy on former opencast mining areas in accordance with the valid plans and permits. Joint uses, for example agricultural and energy, are also possible, as ongoing practice in Lusatia proves.
Not at all. The GigawattFactory is a contribution to environmental and climate protection, because it makes it possible to phase out coal without serious breaks in the energy supply with a large-scale range of secure, base load-capable green energy generation. With the current situation in the energy market, which is likely to last for a long time, this is not playing off, it is seizing a unique opportunity for the region, Germany, climate and environmental protection.
We expect an investment volume of more than ten billion euros by 2030. We want to raise the financing from our own resources, if necessary we will take up additional financing on the market.
Part of the financing will be the 1.75 billion euros in compensation payments due to the early coal phase-out, the release of which still has to be decided in Brussels. This money goes immediately - earmarked for the obligations of recultivation and making the post-mining landscape usable again - in the two pension companies pledged to Brandenburg and Saxony. The money may be used within the special purpose entities for sustainable economic projects such as renewable energy systems, which ultimately increase the assets invested there, which in turn serves to additionally secure the financing of post-mining obligations.
We have to generate the significantly larger part of the financing of the GigawattFactory with our electricity business. It is self-explanatory that the financing will take place step by step as the project expands.
We are financing the GigawattFactory to a large extent with what we generate in the electricity business. So we are investing this money directly in securing Germany's electricity supply in the future. At the moment, we are benefiting from the high electricity prices, but ultimately the energy transition and thus society also benefit from the investment in renewables.
The GigawattFactory is a mainstay for the transformation of LEAG. EPH not only supports this transformation, but actively drives it forward. Our green energy factory is a LEAG project and LEAG will implement the project together with the project developer EP New Energies, which also belongs to the EPH Group.
The GigawattFactory opens up great opportunities for many municipalities, even if their needs are very different. Some municipalities are looking for reliable green electricity for commercial areas, for others the green heat supply is important, while others are looking for green mobility concepts for the future. The GigawattFactory can offer municipalities all this and much more. We develop a very attractive range of offers not only for, but together with the municipalities. Our gigawatt-scale green energy factory can strengthen communities, whether through industrial or corporate settlements or other offers for a secure, innovative and sustainable energy supply.
What rights of participation do the municipalities have with regard to the placement and scope of the projects?
Nothing works without the resolutions and approvals of the municipalities. They're extremely critical to everything we do. All regular procedures for the approval of wind and PV systems remain in place.
On the contrary. In the future, the GigawattFactory will be Lusatia's job engine, because a secure, price-stable supply of green electricity is a decisive factor for industrial settlements in the context of structural change. Other large companies will follow Deutsche Bahn if the conditions are right. In the best case, more jobs will be created in third-party companies than will get lost with the lignite business at the same time.