Dutch water and railway operator make space for PV

The Dutch water management agency Rijkswaterstaat, which is part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, announced that it intends to make water surfaces and other land under its control available for the installation of PV and other renewable energy power plants.

The agency also said it will cooperate with ProRail, the operator of the national railway network, and the local power providers Liander, Stedin and Enexis, to build these plants at several facilities and infrastructures owned by both agencies. Among them, Rijkswaterstaat cites noise barriers, roadsides, freeway overpasses and disposal sites for percolated water.

Furthermore, the agency said it intends to use the surface of the IJsselmeer, a shallow artificial lake of 1100 km² in the central Netherlands bordering the province of Flevoland. Rijkswaterstaat stressed that Floating PV projects will also be part of the plan, which was dubbed PetaPlan.

The two agencies are currently assessing their respective potential for large-scale wind and solar projects. This analysis is expected be completed by the end of 2017.

The cooperation with the three above-mentioned power providers is intended to reduce transmission cost and to improve the local grid. Six pilot renewable energy power plants will be tested to prepare the ground for larger projects, the agency said.