The insurer Signal-Iduna wants to achieve climate neutrality by 2040. A big step in this direction is already being taken: Signal-Iduna is acquiring Europe's largest solar park for a mid-three-digit million sum. "We don't just talk about sustainability, we act," says Ulrich Leitermann, CEO of the Signal-Iduna Group. Since 2020, Signal - Iduna is a premium partner of SpinLab - The HHL Accelerator.
Construction on the site of a former opencast lignite mine in Witznitz, about 30 kilometers south of Leipzig, began back in June. The solar park is scheduled to be connected to the grid as early as next year. According to calculations, this solar park will be able to supply 200,000 four-person households with electricity. Realization will be carried out by Moveon Energy, a local company that will take over the operational management. Moveon will install more than 1.1 million solar modules on 500 hectares of the former lignite open pit mine "Witznitz II" and on 150 hectares of adjacent compensation areas by spring 2023.
Generated solar power will primarily benefit industrial and other large-scale consumers through long-term power purchase agreements. In addition, decentralized power generation is to promote local e-mobility. For example, fast-charging stations for cars and bicycles are planned next to the energy park. Moreover, the project developer is testing parallel agricultural use below the solar module tables on a test area of five to ten hectares. Some of the electricity generated will also be used to produce green hydrogen. A hydrogen solid-state storage facility for the park's own power requirements is therefore also being planned.
But that is not all: It is intended that the construction of the solar park will be accompanied by a revitalization of the area, which has been hardly used so far. New bicycle and horseback riding trails of 13 kilometers each and associated rest areas are to be established in order to support the tourist use of the region. The Saxon State Chancellery is convinced that the energy park will make a significant contribution to implementing and achieving the 2038 coal phase-out targets.