Solar panels

Deutsche Bahn feeds solar power directly into traction energy grid

DB's new solar power plant in Wasbek. 2023, Deutsche Bahn AG / Enerparc AG

Deutsche Bahn (DB) has inaugurated a new solar energy facility in the northern federal state of Schleswig-Holstein along with partner Enerparc. Solar energy from the site is fed directly into the grid for traction energy, which is a first for Germany.

The solar site covers area of 400.000 square metres, which corresponds to around 70 football fields. The electricity that is generated on-site, is fed to the 16.7 Hz traction current network via a converter plant in the town of Neumünster, some 20 kilometres to the north of Hamburg. The panels are expected to generate some 38 GWh per year and result in savings of 18.000 tons of CO2 annually.

Following the commissioning of the solar power plant, the share of green energy in DB’s traction current mix is now at 65 per cent whereas the share of green energy in the country’s overall energy mix is still ‘only’ at 46 per cent. Long-distance trains already use 100 per cent green energy. By 2038, the operator wants its entire traction current needs – some 10 Twh per year – to be covered by green energy.

“We are now feeding solar power directly into the traction power grid for the first time in a pilot project. In doing so, we at DB are consistently continuing on our path of continuously increasing the proportion of green electricity in our traction current mix”, Berthold Huber, Board Member for Infrastructure at DB said in comments on the news.

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Author: Nick Augusteijn

Former Chief Editor of RailTech.com

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