Netherlands: Private solar panels on horticultural businesses and heat exchange with port of Rotterdam

Placing consumer solar panels on greenhouses. The Prominent cooperative is taking up the challenge with 'solar cooperatives', announced Prominent’s Ferdi van Elswijk at the Greenport Conference last week, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Westland.

"The consumer sees potential in solar energy," says Van Elswijk. "But not everybody wants them on their roof." Recently, the legislation concerning the placement of panels changed. Panels do not necessarily have to be placed on your own home in order to benefit from generated energy. This is an opportunity for the Prominent growers, and the union therefore gets started with setting up solar cooperatives. Van Elswijk: "With 1.5 hectares we can provide 520 families with solar energy."

Greenhouse Academy

Following the Hoogeland project, the association received many questions and as many visitors. Worldwide need for knowledge led to last year's Prominent Greenhouse Academy, a training center for greenhouse growers worldwide. In the Greenhouse Academy people are focusing on distant destinations. The provision of training places, a collaboration with InHolland and Lentiz, is only the beginning. "Later, we may be able to set up foreign joint ventures from the Academy."

Harbor Heat
In the longer term, Prominent has even more plans. Van Elswijk represents the Westland growers in consultations on heat exchange between the Westland and Rotterdam harbour. Various parties are now examining the construction of a heat network, to be realized by 2018. "Horticulture can create heat, but also buffer. By storing the heat, there is less need for pipelines. It's ambitious, but possible."

More information:
Telersvereniging Prominent
Ferdi van Elswijk
Groeneweg 75a
2691 MK 's-Gravenzande
Tel: 0174-627565

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