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Municipality, Verdion, PNE and Fraunhofer UMSICHT sign cooperation for sustainable energy supply in Niederkrüchten

How can the wind and solar power that will be generated at the Elmpt Energy & Business Park (Energie- und Gewerbepark Elmpt) be optimally used for Niederkrüchten, the new business park and the region? This question is being investigated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT on behalf of the municipality of Niederkrüchten, business park developer Verdion and energy park developer PNE. The first results are to be presented to the public in autumn 2023.

The “Energy for Niederkrüchten” project includes research on demand, generation and potential of the energy park, the business park and the municipality of Niederkrüchten. Specifically, Fraunhofer UMSICHT will identify, among other things, relevant fields of action, participation opportunities for the municipality and its citizens as well as possibilities and recommendations to establish a local energy infrastructure. Fraunhofer UMSICHT is also carrying out an analysis of potential local hydrogen requirements. The aim of the project partners is to supply both the municipality of Niederkrüchten and the business park with climate-neutral, locally generated energy.

Sebastian Berg, Project Manager at Fraunhofer UMSICHT, says: “As part of the project ‘Energy for Niederkrüchten’, we are accompanying our clients in their transformation process towards climate neutrality. On the basis of our findings, we will identify different alternatives and scenarios for local and communal use of the power generated in the energy park. We are taking the industry’s perspective into account and also enable citizens’ participation in the local energy supply.”

Karl-Heinz Wassong, Mayor of Niederkrüchten, says: “Rising energy prices are currently leading to insecurities for many enterprises. In this situation, we are creating a flagship project with the business park in Elmpt which reconciles energy transition with wildlife conservation as well as economic development. The climate-neutral energy creation on site is a clear locational advantage for our municipality and carries enormous potential for Niederkrüchten itself.”

André Banschus, Executive Director at Verdion, says: “The new business park will be built to very high sustainability standards. The park will operate entirely without fossil fuels as primary energy carrier. The combination of renewable energy generated on site and additional storage facilities brings Verdion Javelin Park into a position to accomplish even more for the region. That is why we are examining how we can make the project even better in this cooperation with the municipality, PNE and Fraunhofer UMSICHT.”

Jonas Klatt, Responsible Department Head at PNE AG, says: “Over recent years, PNE AG has transitioned from a pure project developer of wind farms to a clean energy solutions provider. This also includes the effective combination of wind energy, solar energy, hydrogen and storage to form a coherent overall energy system. From PNE’s point of view, the project in Niederkrüchten is predestined for such a combination, as the generation and consumption of energy takes place in close proximity. In this respect, cooperation with and for the region is particularly important to PNE. It is part of our corporate strategy to jointly examine what kinds of concepts are possible, sensible and economically viable in such projects in order to then implement them.”