Ground-mounted PV installations face challenges in Belgium due to strict regulations prohibiting solar development on agricultural land. Currently, the nation has limited operational small-scale solar parks and a 100 MW solar plant constructed by Engie in 2019 that supplies power to the Belgian grid.
Despite the challenging landscape for utility-scale solar in Belgium, EnergyVision has revealed plans to construct a 40 MW PV facility at Ostend-Bruges Airport in the Flemish Region. Construction of the project, valued at €35 million, will start in September. It will feature 66,200 solar modules with individual outputs of 605 W. The solar plant will supply power to the airport, with no specified completion date.
“However, with an annual electricity production of almost 37,000 MWh, the airport will generate much more electricity than it can consume itself,” EnergyVision said in a statement. “Therefore, part of the generated green power will be diverted to Antwerp Airport (Deurne), with the remainder going directly to local residents.”
The company said that it might expand the solar plant at a later stage, but it did not provide any additional details.
“Soon, Ostend citizens – families but also [small and medium-sized enterprises] – will be able to register and buy the generated electricity on a priority basis, at fixed prices, without any price increase, and for the long term,” said EnergyVision CEO Maarten Michielssens.
Michielssens added that the company is now setting up a platform to allow citizens to co-invest in the project, in the form of an eight-year loan with a fixed annual interest rate of 5%.
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