First step towards German A7 motorway project

GERMANY: Development of a wind project along the A7, Germany's longest motorway, is being driven by municipal energy company Stadtwerke Tübingen and wind developer W-I-N-D Energien of Dettingen unter Teck in the inland German state of Baden-Württemberg.

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Inspiration for the project came from Hermann Scheer, alternative Nobel prize winner and prominent supporter of renewables expansion, who died in 2010.

Scheer proposed onshore wind development wherever possible along the 962-kilometre A7 motorway running from Denmark to the Austrian border, arguing that installing wind turbines along the existing major road would lead to only minimal additional negative visual and environmental impact.

His "Energieallee A7" vision using 5MW wind turbines could add up to 6255MW, Stadtwerke Tübingen noted.

The initial plan is to have ten wind turbines with a total capacity of roughly 25MW in the ground along the A7 near Ellenberg in Baden-Württemberg before the end of 2016, involving an investment of some €45 million.

The Stadtwerke and W-I-N-D Energien won the bidding to purchase land earmarked for wind energy use along the motorway put on the market by the Baden-Württemberg state forestry department in Spring 2013.

A Stadtwerke Tübingen spokesman said the German federal highway act requires a minimum distance of 40 metres between wind turbine and the edge of the motorway, whereby a permit from the state roads construction office is required.

This permit is not required where a minimum distance of 100 metres between wind turbine and edge of raod is observed, he said. At the planned Stadtwerke Tübingen / W-I-N-D Energien project space is available to position the turbines 200 metres from the motorway, he added.

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