(MSN) A German energy company is dismantling a wind farm to allow for an adjacent coal mine to expand its operations, officials said.
The German coal mine Garzweiler, operated by energy company RWE, admits the situation appears to be “paradoxical” — sacrificing one energy source for another — but defended the decision as necessary to strengthen supplies amid the ongoing energy crisis, Oilprice.com reported.
“We realize this comes across as paradoxical,” RWE spokesperson Guido Steffen said in a statement. “But that is as matters stand.”
One of the wind farm’s eight wind turbines was dismantled last week and two others are expected to be taken down next year. The remaining five turbines will be dismantled by the end of 2023, said a spokesperson for the company that builds and runs the wind farm.
RWE’s decision to expand into the Keyenberg wind farm, which is located in North Rhine-Westphalia, has drawn the ire of climate activists.
North-Rhine Westphalia’s ministry for economic and energy affairs repeatedly advocated against the destruction of the wind turbines.
“In the current situation, all potential for the use of renewable energy should be exhausted as much as possible and existing turbines should be in operation for as long as possible,” a ministry spokesperson said in a statement earlier this week, according to the Guardian.
The spokesperson added: “We don’t currently see any necessity to dismantle the wind power plant by the L12 near the Garzweiler surface mine.”
The expansion comes in tandem with a plan to temporarily return three of RWE’s lignite-fired coal units to the market, a decision that was approved by Germany’s cabinet. The units were previously on standby.
“The three lignite units each have a capacity of 300 megawatts (MW). With their deployment, they contribute to strengthening the security of supply in Germany during the energy crisis and to saving natural gas in electricity generation,” RWE said in September.
“Originally, it was planned that the three reserve power plant units affected would be permanently shut down on September 30, 2022, and September 30, 2023, respectively,” RWE added.