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  • Rheinisches Revier: New wind turbines in front of what used to be the largest lignite-fired power station in Germany

Rhenish mining district: New wind turbines
in front of what used to be the largest lignite-fired power plant in Germany

NOTUS energy commissions two wind turbines near Vanikum

Together they supply around 5,800 households with clean electricity: after almost ten years of planning and 16 months of construction, NOTUS energy has commissioned two wind turbines in the heart of the Rhenish lignite mining area. The Vestas V150 turbines will save 28,000 tons of CO2 per year compared to the electricity generated by the coal-fired power plants in the surrounding area. Neighboring communities will also benefit directly from the electricity fed into the grid.

The Neurath coal-fired power plant is less than two kilometers away as the crow flies. Before the first of the seven power plant units here were decommissioned in 2021, it was the largest lignite-fired power plant in Germany in terms of installed capacity. The new wind turbines, each with a rated output of six megawatts (MW), therefore also represent a turning point. "We are delighted that we can make a contribution to structural change in the Rhenish mining area and to securing the energy supply with the Vanikum wind farm," says Heinrich Lieser, Managing Director of NOTUS energy West GmbH & Co. KG.

NOTUS energy intends to continue its commitment to the urgently needed expansion of wind energy in North Rhine-Westphalia in the future. Two further turbines near Rommerskirchen are currently about to start construction and should be connected to the grid as early as 2025. "We are counting on the regional planning authorities in Düsseldorf and Cologne to set the right course for the rapid expansion of renewable energies in the Rhineland and designate sufficient suitable areas," says Heinrich Lieser. "After all, the expansion of renewable energies must be significantly faster if the region is to remain competitive," Lieser continued.

Neighboring municipalities benefit from the electricity yield

The municipalities of Rommerskirchen, Bergheim, Bedburg and Grevenbroich, which are located within a 2.5-kilometer radius of the wind turbines, will also benefit financially from the new energy. Since 2021, wind farm operators have been allowed to give neighboring communities a share of up to two euros per megawatt hour generated in the profits from electricity production. NOTUS energy expects to be able to distribute around €40,000 per year.

Symbolic location in the lignite mining area

The two wind turbines near Vanikum are located at a highly symbolic site: The first lignite deposit in the Nordrevier was discovered here in 1858, and the nearby Neurath power plant is still fueled by coal from the Garzweiler and Hambach opencast mines.