Opening of Austria’s largest ground-mounted solar thermal plant

Styrian flagship project aims to be a role model for heating conversion in Austrian municipalities.

State Councillor Ursula Lackner: Major project for the transformation of our energy system.

Austria’s largest ground-mounted solar thermal plant was officially opened today in Mürzzuschlag by the Styrian Minister for the Environment, Ursula Lackner, and the Mayor of Mürzzuschlag, Karl Rudischer, as well as Bernd Vogl, Managing Director of the Climate and Energy Fund, together with Stephan Jantscher, SOLID – Solar Energy Systems, and Thomas Hochörtler, Stadtwerke Mürzzuschlag, and representatives of the Green Energy Lab and AEE INTEC. In future, 7000 m2 of high-performance collectors with a capacity of 5 megawatts will supply around 420 apartments in Mürzzuschlag with environmentally friendly heat from the sun. In the summer months, all the heat required in Mürzzuschlag will be generated from solar energy. The Mürzzuschlag large-scale solar plant project is thus making an important contribution to the ecological transformation of heating and also enables district heating customers to participate in the energy revolution. The project is financially supported by the Climate and Energy Fund and the Province of Styria. The plant has already been awarded the Energy Globe Styria for its exemplary function and was also part of the large-scale research project ThermaFLEX, which was awarded the Energy Globe Austria in June 2023.

The importance of the Mürzzuschlag flagship project for transforming the energy system towards renewables and achieving Styria’s climate targets is the focus of Styrian Environment Minister Ursula Lackner’s opening statement: “The energy crisis last winter has once again clearly shown how fatal our dependence on oil and gas is. Not only for our climate, but also for a secure energy supply in our country. That is why it is so important that we move away from fossil fuels. With projects such as the solar thermal plant in Mürzzuschlag, we in Styria are taking important steps towards greater energy independence, climate protection and, ultimately, an affordable and secure energy supply for the people of Styria. For this reason, the province of Styria is providing €280,000 in financial support for the expansion of the large-scale solar plant.

SOLID-CEO Stephan Jantscher: Proven solar thermal concept is now on the road to success in Austria!

Solar thermal energy – the use of solar energy to heat water and support heating systems – has been used successfully in Austria for decades. The solar thermal concept as a replacement for oil and gas is increasingly becoming an international model for a future climate-friendly heating and cooling supply in cities and rural areas. “The first large-scale solar thermal systems have proven to be a cornerstone on the way to an transition in heating. Now the concept needs to be rolled out across Austria. In addition to a clear legal framework, sufficient subsidies are needed from the federal and provincial governments. This will give municipalities and energy supply companies the planning security they need to implement innovative and sustainable CO2-free alternatives for heating and cooling, such as solar thermal energy,” emphasises Stephan Jantscher, Managing Director of SOLID Solar Energy Systems.

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