Peppers cultivated on waste wood from North Holland North residents and companies

Dutch pepper grower ready for climate agreement with heat network connection

Greenhouse horticulture area Alton in Heerhugowaard (North Holland) was officially connected to the heat network of waste and energy company HVC on Thursday 10 January 2019. Pepper grower NH Paprika will be the first greenhouse horticulture company to be connected to the grid and is therefore fully climate-neutral and climate agreement proof.

Marcel Numan of NH Paprika is the first pepper grower in the Netherlands to grow his peppers entirely climate-neutral. "We are proud that we fully heat our greenhouses sustainably. The heat comes from the bio-energy plant of HVC, which is combusted on waste wood that residents and companies hand in at waste collection stations. This makes the heat 100% renewable."

Area agreement
During the connection of NH Paprika to the heat network, also the 'Area agreement Alton and surrounding area' was signed by the cooperating parties: province of North Holland, HVC, Entrepreneurship Association OVAL, Heerhugowaard municipality, Koggenland municipality, Greenport NHN, Rabobank and the NHN development company. With this cooperative the concrete agreements about future developments in the area will be made, with the commissioning of the heat network as the first step in the realization of the objectives.

The area agreement concerns a broad set of agreements on subjects such as the creation of space for greenhouse horticulture, relocation of companies from the surrounding areas to Alton, a future-proof energy supply and sustainable heat supply, the installation of glass fiber and the optimization of the accessibility of the area.

Jaap Bond, deputy of the executive of the province of North Holland: "With this area agreement we are strengthening the economy and employment opportunities, concentrate greenhouse horticulture and reduce the use of fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. Thanks to the good cooperation and coordination between the entrepreneurs in the Alton area, this is going to succeed."

Climate agreement proof
Sjaak van der Tak, chairman of Greenhouse Horticulture Netherlands and also chairman of the climate table Greenhouse Horticulture, emphasizes how unique the heat network project is. "NH Paprika is a leader and fully meets all the objectives of the Climate Agreement. In The Hague the negotiations are still ongoing, but the greenhouse horticulture sector is already working on the implementation. This project is climate agreement 'proof' and proves what the greenhouse horticulture sector is capable of."

Arjan ten Elshof, director at HVC, emphasizes the importance of making the area sustainable: "Because the greenhouses in the Alton area in Heerhugowaard have a major heat demand, a considerable increase in sustainability can be achieved here. The connection of NH Paprika to the heat network is an important step in the sustainable future of Heerhugowaard, but we are not there yet. In the coming years, we will be working on further expansion of the heat network in Heerhugowaard, whereby also houses will be connected. We are also investigating the opportunities for geothermal energy in the Alton area."

One of the most sustainable greenhouse horticulture areas
Greenhouse horticulture uses a lot of energy and therefore also emits a lot of CO2. More than 30% of the total energy consumption of the Heerhugowaard municipality takes place in the Alton area. The parties therefore jointly invest in the creation of the right preconditions, so that greenhouse horticulture companies can work here in a sustainable manner. In this way, the involved parties aim to reduce CO2 emissions in the Alton area in 2030 by 75% compared to 1990.

Monique Stam, alderman for Economic Affairs and Sustainability of the municipality of Heerhugowaard, is pleased with the achieved milestone. "Thanks to close collaboration between entrepreneurs, governments, HVC and banks, the Alton area is now on its way to becoming one of the most sustainable greenhouse horticulture areas in the Netherlands. I am proud that this sustainable greenhouse horticulture area is located in our municipality and that we can thus serve as an example for the rest of the Netherlands."

Source: Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord

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