Another solar park for the Dutch highway system

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Dutch energy cooperative Energie Coöperatie Bunnik (ECB) and Netherlands-based solar project developer IX Zon are planning to build a 16MW solar park along the A12 motorway connecting The Hague with the German border in the Gelderland province, in the eastern Netherlands.

The south-oriented project has been under development since 2019 and is set to occupy a total surface of 10 hectares across two plots. It will provide power to the municipalities of Bunnik, Odijk, and Werkhoven. The facility is expected to generate around 14.6GWh per year.

The approval process for the solar facility should be finalized by mid-2022 and the project is expected to be financed with the support of crowdfunding from local communities.

The project adds to the list of several solar parks being developed or constructed along Dutch highways. The latest four were announced by the Rijkswaterstaat – the water management agency of the Netherlands, under the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management – in June. These plants are being developed close to on-ramps and off-ramps of the A7 highway, which connects Zaandam, in the province of North Holland, to the German border.

The agency also plans to build a large-scale solar plant along Highway 35 in the northeastern Netherlands, and a solar park along the A37 in Drenthe province. Shell further plans to install 48MW of solar capacity near Rijksweg 59, a highway that spans the provinces of Zeeland, South Holland, and North Brabant.

The potential for Dutch highways to host solar has been highlighted since October 2017, when construction contractor Heijmans announced plans to install noise barrier-integrated bifacial solar modules along several major roads. Its first project, finalized in February 2020, was a 400-meter stretch of the A50 near the town of Uden.

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