Rooftop Energy is preparing to create a huge solar farm on the slope of the Bavelse Berg waste mountain. BNG Bank, BOM Renewable Energy and sustainable investment fund Meewind have agreed to provide Rooftop Energy with millions of euros in financing to construct the farm. Once all 94,000 solar panels are installed, this will be one of the largest solar energy installations in the Netherlands. The funding agreement was signed on 9 January 2020.
The solar farm site is located to the east of Breda, and with a capacity of over 37 MWp it will generate enough electricity to power around 10,000 homes. Rooftop Energy is responsible for developing, setting up and operating the site. Grid operator Enexis has already begun laying cables in Breda North. Construction on the Bavelse Berg will begin in the first quarter of 2020, and the solar farm should be fully operational and producing electricity by the end of the year. Local residents will be offered the opportunity to purchase electricity from the Bavelse Berg solar farm, and to become financial participants in this renewable project.
The solar panels at the site will be placed at a height of between 1 and 2.5 metres above ground. Because the panels have been designed to allow light to pass through them, vegetation can continue to grow underneath the farm, benefiting not only the stability of the slope, but also the environment. There is even room underneath the panels for sheep to graze.
“This level of funding requires good cooperation between our Finance & Operations team and the teams at our financial backers,” says Leendert Florusse, CEO of Rooftop Energy (an NPM Capital portfolio company). “We’re proud of the people who have put both their hearts and their hard work into the project. By making double use of the available space on such a complex surface as this undulating waste mountain, we have shown that we can use our knowledge and experience not just for roofs and carports, but also to take on terrain projects of this scope.”
At the end of 2018, the Municipality of Breda gave the green light for the solar farm to be built. Engineering consultancy firm Sweco has owned and let the Bavelse Berg land since 1970, and is responsible for maintaining the waste mountain. The final design of the project and the spatial integration in its surroundings were agreed in close collaboration with the municipality and with Sweco. Sweco is also a consultant on the project, looking at the development, implementation and operation of the site.