German Coal Plant to be Transformed into Green Energy Hub
LEAG has announced it would transform its coal power plants in Eastern Germany into a green energy hub, with a capacity between 7GW and 14GW. Hydrogen Industry Leaders explores how this project uses existing infrastructure to create renewable energy.

The project will utilise wind and solar energy, innovative battery technology, and hydrogen. The initial phase involves a €200 million investment to convert the Boxberg coal plant into the country’s biggest renewable energy storage system.

€1.5 billion in renewable energy will be invested by 2030

LEAG is one of the largest producers of electricity from coal in Germany and is planning to transform its thermal power plants and coal mines in the Lusatia region in the Eastern part of the country into what it says is the biggest green energy hub in Europe.

Last week, the company said it estimates that by 2040, it would install between 7GW and 14GW of wind and solar energy capacity, in addition to 3GWh of storage capacity and 2GW for green hydrogen production.

After closing the mines, it is aimed that LEAG will utilise the existing infrastructure for energy storage from renewable sources.

It intends to invest €1.5 billion in renewable energy by 2030 and hopes to install wind farms and solar power plants with a total capacity of 7GW on the sites.

Germany is to phase out coal usage by 2038

LEAG has signed an initial agreement with ESS Tech, an energy storage system manufacturer to use its large-duration energy storage (LDES) battery technology. LDES systems can provide electricity for at least 10 hours at maximum operational power.

Together, the two companies are planning a 50MW facility with a capacity of 500MWh and weaker lithium-ion batteries and hydrogen storage.

The Boxberg thermal power plant is the first in line for the switch to renewable energy storage, with plans to make it operational by 2027.

This follows the news that Germany is to phase out coal usage by 2038 and the majority of coal power plant operators in the country have committed to shutting them down by 2030. The government is also in negotiations with LEAG on the matter.

Last year, the state achieved an agreement with RWE (the country’s largest electricity producer) to close its coal-fired systems. By 2030, two plants with a combined capacity of 3GW are scheduled to be shut down.