Today the district court of Groningen has ruled that Powerfield may start with the construction of solar park Vlagtwedde. One objection was lodged against the construction, but the judge concluded that the objector is not a stakeholder. Powerfield had already been promised the SDE subsidy for this solar park from the RVO and Powerfield had already purchased the 126 hectares of land in mid-January. Symen Jellema, director of Powerfield: ‘We are pleased that the construction of this park can kick off this year. The Netherlands has an enormous task in finding and using more sustainable energy sources. Gas and fossil fuels are really a thing of the past, and fortunately, more and more people are becoming aware of this. Every step in that direction is essential.’
With the court ruling and the positive SDE decision, Powerfield can start building the solar park this spring. The first activities consist of planting the blueberry bushes on the site that will be part of the landscape integration. Once fully grown, this will create 20 FTE jobs for picking the berries and maintaining the berry bushes. Powerfield is currently in the final stages of financing the project. The solar park is expected to be operational by the end of 2019 and will annually produce as much electricity as the consumption of almost 30,000 average Dutch households.
Energy transition in the Netherlands
Powerfield realizes large-scale solar parks in the Netherlands and as such wants to contribute to the climate and energy goals. Currently, less than 6% of the electricity we use is sustainably generated. After Luxembourg, the Netherlands has the lowest percentage of sustainably generated energy of the 28 EU countries. The solar park in Vlagtwedde, which is also currently the largest in Western Europe, represents an important step in the energy transition.
Jobs and training
In addition to achieving the climate and energy goals, Powerfield also strives to create and retain jobs in the region. One of these initiatives is the assembly of solar panels in our own solar panel factory. This solar panel factory will be located in the province of Groningen and with a 150 FTE will be an important input for employment in the region. In addition, Powerfield, together with the Noorderpoort college, is exploring the possibility of creating a separate training course for solar engineers, so that the construction and maintenance of solar parks can be done by local parties.