Wind Power for Proving Ground

| Environmental Testing

The Mercedes-Benz private test house and proving ground in Papenburg

Wind turbines at the Mercedes-Benz proving ground in Papenburg will generate more than 100MW by the middle of the decade

Mercedes-Benz is planning to put into action its goal of become a sustainable manufacturer. It aims to partially achieve this through a plan to build a farm of wind turbines at its test track and proving grounds in Papenburg, northern Germany. Within the next two years, it expects the wind farm to be producing an output of more than 100 MW, which is enough to cover more than 15 percent of the total annual electricity demand of the Mercedes-Benz Group in Germany.

As part of its effort to build an impressive double-digit number of wind turbines by the middle of the decade, Mercedes-Benz is also planning a long-term power purchase agreement with a partner, equivalent to a triple-digit million euros amount. In addition to this, the German car manufacturer is going solar with a large-scale installation of photovoltaic systems on the test site also coming under the company’s scrutiny.

The project plans and an ecological impact review will be carried out in close coordination with the local authorities and other stakeholders, who are associated with the large test facility in Papenburg. Covering an area of approximately 800 hectares, the site has been an integral part of the company’s research and development activities since as far back as 1998. With this project, Mercedes-Benz is taking its environmental ambitions a step further towards expanding its green electricity portfolio in the medium term and at the same time actively supporting the expansion of onshore wind energy in Germany as a whole.

According to Jörg Burzer, Member of the Board of Management of Mercedes-Benz Group AG, Production and Supply Chain Management, the targeted expansion of renewable energies at the group’s own locations is an integral part of the Mercedes-Benz sustainability strategy.

“With the installation of the planned wind farm project in Papenburg, we are taking an important step in this direction. We are making an active contribution to the energy transition and the expansion of onshore wind power in Germany. In addition, by installing photovoltaic systems on the roofs of our plants on a large scale, we are gradually reducing our external energy requirements,” he explains.

Since the start of this year, production at company plants has been CO2 neutral and Mercedes-Benz is pursuing the goal of covering more than 70 percent of the energy demand in production with renewable energies by 2030. At this year’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Conference, which was held in early April, the company announced that it is focusing on the expansion of solar and wind energy at its own locations and by concluding further corresponding power purchase agreements.

By 2025, Mercedes-Benz will invest an amount of more than a hundred million euros into the expansion of photovoltaic energy system installations.

The company’s goal is to at least halve CO2 emissions per passenger car over the entire life cycle by the end of this decade compared to 2020. The most important levers for this are the electrification of the vehicle fleet, charging with green electricity, the improvement of battery technology and the comprehensive use of recycled materials and renewable energies in production.

Jonathan Newell
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