RWE to utilise old coal mines in onshore expansion

GERMANY: RWE is planning to use reclaimed "brownfield" sites at old opencast coal mines to build new wind farms in the western German province of North Rhine Westfalia (NRW).

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The company wants to increase its onshore wind portfolio in the province by around 200MW to 300MW over the next three years.

The company says its wind-power plans have been helped by a new wind-power decree enacted by the state government of NRW and the creation of the joint venture Green Gecco with 29 municipal utilities and RWE Innogy.

Dr Johannes Lambertz, CEO of RWE Power, said: "We are planning to use reclamation areas from opencast mining as sites for wind-energy projects and — in co-operation with regional farmers — use plant cultivation areas to generate biogas."

The first wind farm in the NRW programme will be 20MW in the municipality of Titz, where ten turbines are scheduled to start generating electricity in the summer of 2012.

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