Elster wind farm gets green light: VSB to deliver one of the largest repowering projects in Europe

Press  / Dresden/Zahna-Elster/Jessen / 28.02.2023

The VSB Group, a pan-European project developer for wind and solar farms headquartered in Dresden, Germany, announces that the Elster Repowering wind farm has received permit.

At the wind farm, 50 wind turbines will be replaced by 16 more powerful and modern turbines. VSB is thus implementing one of the largest repowering projects in Europe, in the district of Wittenberg in Saxony-Anhalt. With a total capacity of 105.6 MW, the wind farm will generate around 235 GWh of electricity annually – enough to supply around 150,000 people with clean and affordable energy generated in the region. Compared to conventionally generated electricity, the wind farm will save around 180,000 tonnes of CO₂ annually. This is roughly equivalent to the annual output of 86,000 mid-size cars, each driving 12,000 kilometres.
“Repowering the wind farm will generate six times the amount of renewable energy by replacing old turbines with more efficient ones,” explains Thomas Winkler, Managing Director of VSB Neue Energien Deutschland GmbH, the company responsible for planning and construction. “Repowering is a crucial instrument for achieving the German and European climate targets and, with the advantages of improved economic efficiency and high social acceptance, offers considerable potential for success, especially in Saxony-Anhalt,” continues Winkler.

In close coordination with environmental construction supervisors, VSB is able to guarantee the highest standards of species protection and ecological sustainability. In the Elster Repowering project, for example, new habitats have been found for more than 1,000 sand lizards and around 10 km of reptile fences have been erected to protect the animals during construction work. In addition, the Elster Repowering wind farm requires around a third less land than the old wind farm. Fewer turbines will be erected on the new focus area than before. This means that a large part of the site can be restored, which will benefit the native flora and fauna and have a positive effect on the ecosystem.

Furthermore, VSB Neue Energien Deutschland GmbH is a founding member of RDRWind e. V., an industry association for repowering, dismantling and recycling wind turbines. In this regard, the company is committed to establishing the first standards and norms for the sustainable dismantling of wind turbines.

At the Elster Repowering wind farm site, the dismantling of the existing turbines is already in full swing. The old Enercon E-40 turbines have already been dismantled. The foundations of the old turbines are expected to be removed by June 2023. Parallel to the dismantling, preparatory work for the construction of the new wind turbines will begin, which is scheduled from early 2024. For the first time, VSB Neue Energien Deutschland GmbH is applying a “split scope” concept, whereby SG 6.6-155 turbines from Siemens Gamesa will be installed on concrete foundations and towers from the manufacturer Max Bögl Wind AG. The wind farm is scheduled to go online in the third quarter of 2024.

Current view of the Elster Repowering wind farm site. All 50 of the old turbines have been dismantled.

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