Solar park Schoenaker
Information and background
Renewable energy is high on our agenda. Increasingly this is the case with the national government, the provinces and municipalities. The Netherlands has initiated the necessary transition to renewable energy sources. Both national and local (Gelderland) ambitions are geared towards the same goal: to be (virtually) energy neutral by 2050. The municipality of Beuningen wants to achieve this by 2040.
In 2017, the Energy Vision "Energetic Beuningen” was established. This vision indicates how Beuningen is doing in the field of sustainable energy and what needs to be done achieve energy neutrality by 2040 at the latest. In addition to various projects meant to stimulate saving energy, the municipality also states in this vision that large-scale energy generation by solar and wind is needed if the set objectives are to be met.
In April 2019, the municipal council of Beuningen took note of “the location plan advice from the area council” and decided to generate large-scale sustainable energy in the countryside with solar and wind energy. For solar parks, the municipality submitted a request for initiatives in the Kommen area and published a selection guide that solar park initiatives had to comply with.
An independent review committee assessed all registered initiatives using these selection guidelines. It looked at the review to the life cycle planning, the environment, the landscape analysis approach (financial) participation, conservation of agricultural structure and social value. The maximum is 40 hectares of solar parks in the Kommen area, divided over 4 solar parks of a maximum of 10 hectares each.
Against the background of this policy, TPSolar, in collaboration with a local (Beuningen) land owner, developed a plan for a solar park on the Schoenaker. As requited by the municipality, this initiative was submitted by TPSolar in February 2020. The five-person committee, consisting of experts in the field of spatial development and civil servants from the municipality, has assessed the submitted initiative of TPSolar.
On the basis of the assessment, the municipality has decided that the solar park at the Schoenaker of TPSolar is 1 of the 4 initiatives that may be further developed in order to ultimately start the procedure for applying for an environmental permit. We hope to build the intended solar park in 2022. Another solar park initiative of TPSolar on Ficarystraat in Beuningen has also been selected by the selection committee.
TPSolar wants to develop a solar park that fits into the landscape, cultural-historical and social values of the Beuningen countryside. The conditions set for the landscape integration of solar parks by both the province of Gelderland and the municipality of Beuningen form the basis for the development plan. The starting point for the landscape design are characteristic elements found within the landscape elements as well as the spatial structures. The existing characteristics and quality of the Kommen area will be retained and, where possible, strengthened. Furthermore, by creating different sets of vegetation and habitats native bees, insects and farmland birds will be supported. In addition, TPSolar plans to approach a local artist to create an artwork on the north side of the solar park.
The view of the solar park is minimized by using the hedges. Solar panels will have a maximum height of 1.5 meters in order to safeguard the openness of the landscape.
TPSolar attaches great importance to biodiversity. Therefore all its solar parks are designed in a way that stimulates biodiversity. This is the reason That all our projects are orientated south. This ensures sufficient light, air and moisture under the panels. Not only does this preserves the grass, it is also important for life in the soil, which in turn affects soil quality. A solar park generally has a space between the rows of panels of about 2.5 meters.
In her projects TPSolar strives to 50% local participation through local ownership. To this end we consult with local energy corporations. In addition, TPSolar offers local residents the opportunity to participate financially, which is advantageous when it comes to the energy bill. Additionally, TPSolar contributes to the area fund. We also work on the local park procurement in order to create local jobs.
Questions about solar park
Schoenaker in Beuningen? Please contact project officer Robert van der Horst.