Quellendorf ground-breaking ceremony attended by Minister-President Reiner Haseloff signals start of construction

Milestone reached in “Project Fuhne”, a large-scale energy transition project in Saxony-Anhalt

Quellendorf ground-breaking ceremony attended by Minister-President Reiner Haseloff signals start of construction

Radegast, 28 June 2024

A project of nationwide significance is currently taking shape in the towns of Südliches Anhalt, Zörbig and Petersberg: an integrated energy system that uses solar and wind power to generate heat for local consumption. And a further major milestone was reached on 28 June when ground was broken on the new heating network in Quellendorf.

The ground-breaking ceremony in Quellendorf illustrates in impressive fashion something that previously only existed on paper: the energy transition at local level and the transformation of an entire region. The most important aspect of the project, christened “Projekt Fuhne”, is delivering tangible benefits – specifically, enabling locals to benefit directly from the generating plants in their neighbourhood.

The principle is straightforward: wind turbines and solar panels produce electricity, which flows into industrial heat pumps and generates eco-friendly heat. Selling the surplus green electricity via the exchange, to direct consumers such as local businesses and industrial companies allows the heat to be cross-subsidised and residents to be provided with heat at extremely affordable prices. Households and municipal buildings are then kept warm with environmentally sustainable heat for just 12.23 cents gross per kilowatt-hour – a price that has been fixed for the next ten years.

Keeping value creation local

“The focus here is on providing a cheap, secure energy supply over the long term for the whole region,” says Heinrich Gärtner, Co-Founder and CTO of GP JOULE. “We’re making sure that value creation stays local, that people can enjoy affordable heat for their homes and that businesses benefit from low electricity prices – on a scale never seen before. This secures the tangible benefits of renewable energy for residents and makes the area an attractive place for companies to set up shop. It keeps jobs local and helps attract new businesses that are fit for the future.”

The visit by Saxony-Anhalt’s Minister-President Reiner Haseloff also shows how important the project is for the state and, indeed, the whole of Germany: “Ideally, the energy transition will be shaped and delivered locally rather than centrally.” In his welcome address, he stressed the project’s significance for both residents and local authorities: “I firmly believe that it’ll grow into a genuine locational advantage for the region and make people confident about the future thanks to stable energy costs, higher land and property prices, improved quality of life in the villages, securing jobs and stabilising tax revenues. Over the next few years, this area will develop into an energy region that I’m already really excited about.”

“I’m delighted that Quellendorf is the first place where the project’s being implemented,” adds its mayor Thomas Schneider. “It’ll allow our municipality to highlight the manifold benefits of the wind turbines and solar farms, such as providing a future-proof solution to the question of electricity and heat supply.”

Also involved in getting the project off the ground has been the company Grüne Energien Bitterfeld, whose managing director Marco Pannicke says: “Being based not far away in Bitterfeld, we’re proud to have initiated and helped to plan Europe’s largest heating project powered by renewable energy. It’s a milestone on the journey towards strengthening the rural parts of Saxony-Anhalt. As well as easing the burden on private households, the project will also attract energy-intensive companies that are keen to make use of green electricity. Today’s a good day for the people of Saxony-Anhalt and its economy.”

Local companies to build heating network

Back in Quellendorf, the heating system—the beating heart of the new heating network—is being constructed on Molkereistraße, where the large-scale heat pump will also be built in the coming year. The first stage of construction will see customers living on Molkerei­straße, Neue Reihe and Berglindenweg connected up and able to enjoy their first heat from the network as early as this winter. Work will continue into Schulstraße, Hauptstraße and Neuer Weg next year, meaning that the whole village is expected to be enjoying renewable heat by the end of 2026. The school, fire station, preschool and day nursery will also be joined to the network.

A tried-and-tested system powered by conventional gas will be on hand to ensure that the supply of heat starts up without a hitch at the turn of the year during the commissioning phase once the equipment has been set up. The aim is to replace this system as soon as possible with the large-scale heat pump manufactured specifically for the project.

Two local firms – KOPF Riesa from Riesa and ZETIEBA from Zerbst/Anhalt – have been commissioned with pipeline construction and civil engineering respectively for the 5.8-kilometre-long network. Right from the word “go”, therefore, the project organisers are making good on their promise to work with local partners. 

Renergiewerke Fuhne is planning to build an integrated energy system in Südliches Anhalt, Zörbig and Petersberg in which power generation, heat supply and mobility are all interconnected – sustainably, locally and powered by 100% renewable energy. The plan is for over fifty heating networks in as many as forty-six communities across the three municipalities, with up to 1 GW of power generated by solar panels and wind turbines. Looking further ahead, hydrogen production facilities and an expanded charging infrastructure are also in the pipeline.



GP JOULE is an integrated energy supplier that covers the entire energy value chain, from generation to use – and from consulting and financing through to project planning, construction and service. GP JOULE produces and sells wind and solar power, green hydrogen and heat and makes use of it where it is most effective: in electric and hydrogen-based mobility, in households and in industry. From its base in Germany, GP JOULE has been shaping the future of energy in Europe since 2009. For a secure, independent and sustainable supply of energy. For 100% renewable energy for everyone.

GP JOULE won the 2022 German Mobility Award for its eFarm hydrogen mobility project.


About Renergiewerke Fuhne

Championing district heating from the region for the region, Renergiewerke Fuhne ensures clean, affordable heating. Wind and solar power generated locally is converted into heat and pumped into homes, thus keeping both energy and value creation local. This benefits local authorities, businesses and the climate as well as the general public, because they get affordable energy at stable prices. Reliable, clean and 100% renewable.

You can read more about Renergiewerke Fuhne at www.suedliches-anhalt-fernwaerme.de.

Details of “Projekt Fuhne” can be found here: https://www.gp-joule.com/de/energie-fuhne.


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