Netherlands’ Brabant Province supports community solar with €25.8 million

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The Provincial Council of Netherland’s southern region of Brabant has approved a €25.8 million loan that is expected to support a community solar project, which is jointly being planned by 12 municipalities in the southeastern part of the region.

The provincial government said that, of these municipalities, six or seven are planning to borrow money from the province.

They are Eindhoven (€15.3 million), Geldrop-Mierlo (€3 million), Gemert-Bakel (€1.3 million), Son en Breugel (€1.3 million), Valkenswaard (€2.4 million), Waalre (€1.2 million) and possibly Cranendonck (€1.3 million).

The local government said the interest rates of the loans are in line with current market levels, and that their conditions are favorable, as municipalities will be able to repay them easiliy.

The rooftop PV project is planned to use the roofs of around 5,000 homeowners and to utilize approximately 70,000 solar modules.

Brabant’s government said the funds for the loans will come from the sale of the region’s share in Dutch energy company, Essent to German power utility, RWE. The region had a 30.8% share in the company. The deal was closed in 2009.

Around 37 MW of community solar power projects have been built in Holland so far this year. According to HIER klimaatbureau, the number of community solar projects could double over the next two years, partly due to the increasing amount of community solar projects developed under the SDE+ program for large-scale and renewables.