Zonnepark Berkelweide has a total area of approximately 9.5 hectares and is located just outside the core of Lochem, in the intersection of the N346 and the Twente Canal and on the north side of the Berkel River. In total, about 21,600 solar panels will generate about 9.7 megawatt peak of renewable energy. By comparison, this is equivalent to the annual consumption of over 2,700 average households. Berkelweide is the second solar farm that TPSolar has realized in the municipality of Lochem.
The current landowner of the plot was a retired dairy farmer from Laren, a village belonging to the municipality of Lochem. He leased the land to his successor, who used the land for grass production. For the successor the arrival of the solar park brought a great opportunity. With the proceeds he can acquire a better plot of land closer to his farm and build a nice new barn, thus ensuring the continuity of his dairy farm.
The solar farm is in an ideal location, right next to the substation of grid operator Liander. This limits the social costs, because the cable does not need to be laid anywhere in the street that is inconvenient. The plan area lies in the Berkel Valley, but forms a more or less self-contained area. There are no direct neighbors; the nearest home/farm is over 280 meters away. Because of the somewhat elevated N346 and the vegetation behind it, the plan location is not visible from the built-up core of Lochem. Along the full width of the Berkel river a beautiful nature strip of 15 meters wide will be created in cooperation with the water board, and across the solar park there will be a 15 meter wide flower strip with several large bee hotels.
TPSolar attaches great importance to accommodating the wishes of the immediate neighbors. Through information evenings and neighborhood meetings, they have been informed about and involved in the design and construction of the solar farm. Lochem residents will have priority to participate financially in the solar farm. Details will be announced shortly.
In addition, TPSolar is main sponsor of the Zonnebloemlint in Lochem, is looking at how LochemEnergie can be supported, and local companies are being used for all kinds of work during and after construction. A green electricity supply will be set up for the neighbors of Zonnepark Berkelweide, motocross club MACSEV (they now depend on a diesel generator). There will also be a rest area for cyclists and pedestrians with a picnic table and an information board along the Kanaaldijk. Near the information board will be a see-through into the green fence so that interested parties can see the panel field.
Berkelweide as a testing ground
The location of Zonnepark Berkelweide makes it an ideal location to conduct research into innovative techniques and developments in the field of solar energy. For this reason, in the spring of 2021, TPSolar has set up several test stands at Zonnepark Berkelweide to gain experience with agricultural applications between and under the panels. In addition, Berkelweide has a test environment with hundreds of so-called bifacial solar panels. This is one of the latest developments in solar panel technology. These panels have the property that they can convert light to energy on both sides. In the coming period, the effects of these panels on the yield of the solar panels, as well as on the soil vegetation, will be studied. This data can then be used by TPSolar in its other projects in the Netherlands.
TPSolar received the SDE+ subsidy for Zonnepark Berkelweide in the spring of 2020. The Sustainable Energy Production Incentive Scheme (SDE, later SDE+, from 2020 SDE++) is a ministerial subsidy scheme to stimulate the production of clean and renewable energy.
Do you have a question about solar park Berkelweide? Please contact assetmanager Barry Lamers at email@example.com or 023 741 01 44