The increasing number of enquiries regarding investment in ground-mounted photovoltaic plants prompted the town of Luckau (Brandenburg) to commission a potential analysis to identify suitable areas for solar energy in the Luckau municipal area.
Based on the “Preliminary Recommendation for Action of the Ministry of Agriculture, Environment and Climate Protection to Support Municipal Decisions for Large-Scale Photovoltaic Open-Area Solar Installations”, and in cooperation with the client, a comprehensive catalogue of criteria was first developed. It contains, among other things, hard and soft exclusion criteria, whereby hard criteria are mostly based on legal foundations and exclude areas from photovoltaic use that, for example, have protected area status, are used for forestry, settlement, traffic, water, etc., or are subject to spatial planning concerns. Soft criteria, on the other hand, are restrictions explicitly agreed with the client, such as distances to settlements and forests or agricultural soils of high fertility, which are not legally anchored but are nevertheless recommendable with regard to identifying suitable areas for photovoltaics. The overlapping restrictions were combined into a thematic map with the help of a GIS application and used as a basis for the potential analysis.
The remaining potential areas were selected from a size of 2 ha and subjected to a weighing with other, less strict criteria such as location in construction restriction zones, under high-voltage power lines, in the area of the biotope network or in areas of landscape-related recreation. In the course of this, a landscape assessment was carried out and a GIS-supported field of view analysis was carried out for selected areas in order to be able to assess the impact of a potential solar installation on the landscape and its visibility in areas of high landscape value and in the vicinity of villages. In this way, it was possible to prioritise the potential areas according to their suitability for ground-mounted photovoltaic plants, which was derived in profiles for each area including recommended measures to minimise conflicts of use and clearly presented in corresponding maps.