Inauguration of Austria’s second largest solar plant

Heat from the sun enables district heating customers to participate in the energy turnaround.

Austria’s second-largest large-scale solar plant was ceremonially opened today in Mürzzuschlag by Ursula Lackner, Styrian State Minister for the Environment, and Mürzzuschlag Mayor Karl Rudischer, Ingmar Höbarth, Managing Director of the Climate and Energy Fund, as well as representatives of the participating companies SOLID and Stadtwerke Mürzzuschlag. The system, planned and built by Graz-based solar pioneer SOLID Solar Energy Systems for Stadtwerke Mürzzuschlag GmbH, feeds into the local district heating network and thus supplies almost 300 apartments with heat from the sun. In the summer months, the heat required in Mürzzuschlag will be generated entirely by solar energy. The large-scale solar plant Mayerhoferwiese project thus makes an important contribution to an ecological turnaround in heating, enables district heating customers to participate in the energy turnaround and is financially supported by the Climate and Energy Fund and the Province of Styria.

The worldwide demand for heating and cooling is constantly increasing.

Solar thermal energy – the use of solar energy for water heating and cooling – has been successfully used for decades and is increasingly developing into a core element of future climate-friendly heat supply in cities and rural areas. By reducing CO2 emissions and air pollution, heat from the sun is a cornerstone on the way to an ecological heat turnaround.

The current action plan of the Styrian Climate and Energy Strategy 2030 provides for a total of 109 concrete measures to contribute to achieving the Styrian climate goals, including the phasing out of natural gas and instead the integration of seasonal heat storage for solar heat in district heating networks. This is why the project is also being supported financially by the Province of Styria with 200,000 euros.

Ursula Lackner, State Environment Minister: “Climate change has arrived in Styria and we are already feeling its negative consequences. That is why the phase-out of fossil fuels is one of the great challenges of our time and we must do our best together to save harmful CO2 emissions. I am delighted that we are able to open the new large-scale solar plant in Mürzzuschlag today, which we, the Province of Styria, were also happy to support. One of many important steps to keep Styria worth living in the future”.

Climate and Energy Fund: Impulses for the heat turnaround

Since 2010, the Climate and Energy Fund has been promoting the operational installation of innovative solar thermal systems with a collector area of 100 m2 or more with its “Solar thermal – large-scale solar systems” program, thus providing a sustainable boost to the development and market penetration of innovative systems. It thus supports the implementation of the goals of domestic climate policy and the development towards a sustainable energy system, including the large-scale solar plant in Mürzzuschlag with around 656,000 euros.

Ingmar Höbarth, Managing Director of the Climate and Energy Fund: “Through our funding, we are providing decisive impetus to ensure that solar thermal innovations are brought to market quickly. The direct climate and economic impact is particularly convincing in the case of the Mürzzuschlag plant”.

“With climate change and the search for sustainable CO2-free alternatives for heating and cooling, there is enormous potential for our innovative projects. In addition to our international projects, we are always particularly pleased to be able to contribute to the energy turnaround with lighthouse projects in Styria and Austria,” says Stephan Jantscher, Managing Director of SOLID Solar Energy Systems.

The large-scale solar plant Mayerhoferwiese in Mürzzuschlag

With 5,054 square meters of high-performance collectors, the large-scale solar plant Mayerhoferwiese is the second largest large-scale solar plant in Austria after the SOLID plant in Graz-Puchstraße. It supplies almost 300 apartments with environmentally friendly heat, completely replacing the natural gas-fired boilers in the summer months and thus saves almost 1000 tons of CO2 per year. 3 heat storage tanks with a total volume of 180 m3 act as storage tanks and ensure a solar heat share of approx. 10% over the entire year. The system was planned and built by SOLID Solar Energy Systems and is operated by the specially founded company SolarWärme MZ GmbH, which also sells the heat to Stadtwerke Mürzzuschlag. “Half of the energy required in Austria flows into the heat supply, with fossil energy still dominating this today. We offer the supply of solar heat from our plants and thus contribute to the conversion to renewable energy with the support of the Climate and Energy Fund and the Province of Styria. We are already thinking about expanding the plant by another 2000 m2”, says Christian Holter, managing director of SolarWärme MZ GmbH.

Mürzzuschlag – new beacon project for the energy-efficient e5 community.

Economical and efficient use of energy, the promotion of renewable energy sources as well as soft mobility and lived climate protection through numerous projects to reduce CO2 emissions are at the top of the city of Mürzzuschlag’s agenda. “As an energy-efficient e5 community, it is our motivation to use energy sensibly and efficiently and to live climate protection and environmental awareness to a high degree on a local level in order to maintain our quality of life. With the large-scale solar plant Mayerhoferwiese, we are taking another big step towards an energy turnaround,” says Mürzzuschlager Mayor Karl Rudischer.

The Mürzzuschlag public utility company operates a district heating network with a route length of 14 kilometers. Up to now, 70% of the heat supplied has already come from regional biomass. The goal of Stadtwerke Mürzzuschlag is to realize an even higher share of renewable energy with simultaneously low emissions for its district heating customers.

“A thermal solar system to supplement the heating system is a technology that has been proven over decades and is very efficient. The challenge in this project was to optimally integrate the large-scale solar plant into our district heating network,” explains Ing. Hubert Neureuter. “In addition to the conservation of resources, the aim is also long-term price stability and independence from energy imports,” adds Mag. Reinhard Welser, both managing directors of Stadtwerke Mürzzuschlag.

SOLID – Solar Energy Systems – www.solid.at

The newly founded SOLID – Solar Energy Systems, under the leadership of its new owner and managing director Stephan Jantscher, continues the national and international large-scale solar projects of the Graz-based solar pioneer in Europe, Asia and North and Central America as well as existing national and international research projects and acquires new large-scale solar plant projects both in Europe and overseas. SOLID is the worldwide contact for research on the topic of heat turnaround and the carrier of renowned international lighthouse projects.

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