Netherlands' Central Government Real Estate Agency (Rijksvastgoedbedrijf – RVB) has approved the construction of a utility-scale solar power plant on a 40-hectare surface at the Windpark Krammer, a 102 MW wind power complex located at the Philipsdam in Krammersluizen, in the Dutch region of Zeeland. The dam separates the Krammer and Volkerak lakes from the Oosterschelde.
Energy cooperatives Zeeuwind and Deltawind are developing the plant, the first of 10 renewable energy projects to be built on government premises under the Hernieuwbare energie op Rijksareaal (Renewable Energy on Public Land) program that is being implemented in partnership with the state-run RijkSdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) agency, which manages the subsidy program for clean energy sources, and Rijkswaterstaat – the water management agency of the Netherlands, under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management.
The solar plant will be located close to the wind park, which hosts 34 wind turbines with a capacity of 3 MW each, and a lock used to avoid the exchange between the freshwater Volkerak and the brackish water of the Oosterschelde. “The lock must of course continue to function properly and the basins where the solar panels must be installed are essential for this,” the RVB said in a statement. “But water safety and water quality must also be ensured because nature and a healthy underwater environment are very important.”
The solar plant is expected to have a capacity of up to 50 MW, with commercial operations set to begin in 2023. It will likely be connected to the same connection point as the wind complex. The Netherlands‘ solar energy association, Holland Solar, the wind energy trade body NWEA and the association of energy cooperatives, Energie Samen, recently defined a model agreement to help the owners of large scale wind and solar power assets share the same connection point in order to avoid current grid capacity issues.
The Netherlands offers enormous potential for floating PV as it has approximately 52,000 hectares of shallow inland water surfaces to use. The Dutch Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA) recently published guidelines and tools for companies interested in developing floating PV projects across the water-rich country.
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