There’s a small town in Germany called Dardesheim, that relies almost entirely on renewable sources for its energy needs. The town’s goal is to use 100% renewable power, and become known as German’s “Town of Renewable Energies”. Dardesheim already has some huge wind turbines in place, and many solar roofs installed. Last year they installed an amazing 62 megawatts of wind power, including one 6 megawatt turbine, the E112.
Paul Gipe writes in Wind Works:
The E112 alone is expected to produce from 12 to 15 million kWh per year, enough to meet the electrical needs of 4,000 households in this region of Germany. Altogether, the wind turbines will generate from 120 to 130 million kWh annually, enough to meet the needs of nearly all the 80,000 residents of the county. And if the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow they don’t need a large battery storage they fire up a biomass plant to generate the electricity from plant residues, wood pellets and manure.
This isn’t the first that the villages have been exposed to renewable energy. Four pioneering wind turbines were installed in the mid-1990s, collectively producing one million kWh per year. The more extensive project has been in the works since then.
They also installed nine different solar PV plants: five private projects totaling 170 kW, and four projects at the Druiberg wind plant totaling 210 kW. During their first year of operation the combined 380 kW of solar PV generated nearly 250,000 kWh, about one-third of the Dardesheim’s domestic electricity consumption.
The town of Dardesheim also wants to attract tourists who are interested in renewable energy. They’ve built a renewable energy information center (on a former anti-ballistic missile radar station), and this year they also expect to install a large wind turbine fitted out with a observation platform.
For more information on Dardesheim, see this Wind Works article.