Solar park Wenumseveld

The Municipality of Apeldoorn aims to become energy neutral at some point. This means that as much renewable energy is generated on an annual basis as is used. One of the pillars for achieving this objective is large-scale sustainable energy generation, which will partly be done by utility scale solar.

Preparations for the construction phase for the solar park are ongoing. In addition to the search for a suitable contractor to build the solar system, Statkraft also works closely with the Vallei & Veluwe water authority and there is regular communication with initiatives from the neighbourhood. After the municipality of Apeldoorn granted the permission for the solar park in the spring of 2019, several ground investigations were carried out.

The national impact of Dutch legislation regarding PFAS, a group of man-made chemicals, caused some problems with laboratory analyses which have slightly delayed this phase. However the results of the obtained samples are compliant so that other operations could be contracted - for example with Liander to realize the power grid connection.

One of the most important conditions to realize this solar park is the construction of a new ecological connecting zone (EVZ) along the Grift. For this area Statkraft will cooperate with the local water authority called Vallei & Veluwe, helping them to implement the European Water Framework Directive which will improve the ecologic quality of the Grift, an ancient small canal located just next to the solar park. Therefore, this ecological connection zone will remain completely outside the solar park and will be managed by Vallei & Veluwe. These activities start before the construction of the solar park and take some time because the greening is only possible during a limited number of weeks per year.

The search for a suitable general contractor for the construction of the solar system is in progress and is separated from the realization of the EVZ. The preselection for a company with experience in the installation of solar parks has already begun. A total of 7 companies were successfully screened and they will soon receive a formal invitation to participate in the tender process. The detailed technical elaboration will start as soon as the contracts are signed.

Ecological issues such as drainage, landscaping and the inventory of available trees are already taken into consideration. From February onwards Statkraft will be assisted in this by a Dutch company with knowledge and experience. In addition, Statkraft coordinate with initiatives from the neighbourhood to determine which ideas should be integrated in order to benefit from added values of the project in the immediate vicinity - both ecologically and socially. You can read an overview of ecological and / or social aspects that are further elaborated in our next message.

The current timeline looks like this:

  • February 2020:
    Consultation with local initiatives regarding ecological & social aspects
    Selection of an independent ecological adviser
    First design of the ecological connection zone
  • March-April 2020:
    Tender procedure for general contractor
    Selection of ecological projects (separate from the EVZ)
    Further elaboration of selected ecological projects
  • May - July 2020:
    Contract for ecological projects
    Signature contract general contractor
  • November 2020:
    Start preliminary construction works
  • Winter/Spring 2021:
    Construction of the ECZ and the solar park

16 MWp of capacity will be installed, providing approximately 4 500 households with sustainable electricity. The park will produce electricity for 20-30 years. After a maximum of 30 years the site will be delivered as agricultural land again and the EVZ will continue to exist.