German utility EnBW has started building Germany’s largest solar project without subsidies.

The company had cancelled a cut-of-spade ceremony planned March 16 due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Germany, but nevertheless plans to complete the 187MW Weesow-Willmersdorf solar farm in the northeastern state of Brandenburg near Berlin before the end of this year.

“This solar park is our first renewable project without state funding. It also marks a milestone for photovoltaics in Germany and demonstrates that this technology has achieved market maturity,” said Dirk Güsewell, head of generation portfolio development at EnBW.

The utility said building the solar farm without support is possible because of synergy effects due to the size of the array and the fact that costs in the PV sector have fallen by more than 80% in the last ten years.

“The project being developed by EnBW demonstrates that renewable energies can be competitive,” said Jörg Steinbach, economics minister in Brandenburg.

The solar array will be able to supply around 50,000 households through its annual yield of 180 million kilowatt hours of electricity, saving about 129,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, EnBW said.

The company added the solar power plant with its 465,000 south-facing modules has a planned operational life of 40 years.