"Support from local residents is essential for ensuring the success of this project,” says Sven Kamphues, project leader.
The planned solar farm will be placed in the same area as Wieringermeer wind farm, which was established in 2003 and will be repowered in 2018. The Wieringermeer is an area of roughly 15x20 kilometers and by placing solar panels on less valuable land in the vicinity of the turbines, solar panels become a smart way of utilising the land - as well as taking advantage of existing infrastructure and grid connections of the wind farm.
The Nuon Wieringermeer solar farm project is scheduled to start construction in 2018. According to plans, 27,5 megawatt of solar energy will be installed, more or less 105.000 panels and a total investment of 25-30 million Euros.
“However, the project is yet in its initial phase; we still need necessary permits from the municipality,”says Sven Kamphues. “And subsidies, essential for the project, will be requested for in September next year”.
To raise interest in the project among residents, NGO’s and politicians, Nuon invites local investors to become co-owners of the solar farm.
“Locals interested can register via the website Oneplanetcrowd.com, a sustainable platform for fundraising that we are trying for the first time,” says Kamphues. “It assesses the interest on behalf of Nuon, keeps subscribers informed of the plans and sends information about participation opportunities”.
€ 500 000
Not only residents of the municipality Hollands Kroon - where Wieringermeer wind farm is situated - may participate, also people from the surrounding municipalities are welcome. According to plan, shares for a total of € 500 000 will be offered, eventually. If successful, this might give residents of the whole Province of Noord-Holland the option to participate.
But first, the modernisation of the Wieringermeer wind farm has to be completed.
“Right now we are replacing and upgrading all the 50 wind turbines into 3,6 megawatts each. When this job is finished, we hope to have a project launch of the solar farm in 2018,” says Sven Kamphues.