HOFOR – Greater Copenhagen Utility – has just invested in a large solar plant built by Danish Better Energy. The new agreement between Better Energy and HOFOR will help Copenhagen meet their target of becoming CO2 neutral by 2025.
The new solar plant will be built on a 26-hectare field in Kikkenborg, an area in the central region of mainland Denmark. The plant will produce 20,000 MWh of electricity equivalent to the average annual electricity consumption of 4,000 Danish households. The solar plant will be built by Better Energy during the winter, and it is expected to be grid connected in March 2020.
“The new project between Better Energy and HOFOR is a crucial step for HOFOR in meeting their target of CO2 neutrality in 2025,” says Jesper Pedersen, head of renewable energy at HOFOR, and continues:
“Solar energy has become competitive with wind power and fits well into our ambitious green strategy, which focuses on fossil-free technologies, among other things. Also, solar is a very good match for our wind turbines because production is often inversely correlated. Solar plants produce the most when wind turbines produce the least.”
Jesper Pedersen adds that HOFOR expects to build more solar plants in the coming years in addition to the company's many wind turbines, but they have not yet decided on any specific projects. As part of the company's green transition strategy, HOFOR has established two large heat pumps that harness electricity from the sun and wind in the district heating supply. CO2-neutral gas produced by using wastewater, remote cooling from seawater and geothermal heating from the ground are other fossil-free technologies in HOFOR’s strategy.
Mark Augustenborg Ødum, EVP Markets & Customers in Better Energy says the following about the agreement:
“Solar energy is at the heart of a sustainable energy supply and will accelerate Denmark's green transition in the coming years. The collaboration with HOFOR is of great importance for the journey towards a fully sustainable energy supply in Denmark, where solar energy supplements and complements Denmark's existing wind energy supply. Solar and wind are each other's prerequisites for a future driven by renewable energy sources."
Groundwater and biodiversity benefits
In addition to delivering green energy to the grid, solar plants can help protect groundwater and biodiversity, and these are important benefits to HOFOR as Denmark’s largest supplier of water:
“Flowers and other plants grow in between the solar panels and provide good conditions for insects and birds. At the same time, we protect the groundwater because it is not necessary to use herbicides or other pesticides on site. The rain keeps the solar panels clean and the field is completely free of toxins and chemicals,” says Jesper Pedersen.