June 26, 2020

The biotechnological business park Utrecht Science Park Bilthoven, where RIVM and other companies are housed, will soon have three thousand solar panels on its roofs. This solar power project is the largest so far in the municipality of De Bilt. The project was realized through the collaboration between the BENG! cooperative, project bureau Greenspread and the owner of Utrecht Science Park Bilthoven; Poonawalla Science Park BV. The installation will be ready for use in mid-August.

The solar panels are spread over eight different buildings on the site. “That made the plan a challenge” says Martin Le Loux, real estate director of Poonawalla Science Park, “because each building or building section required its own approach'. Together, the panels deliver 850,000 kWh per year, comparable to the needs of more than 300 households. The electricity will soon be used directly where it is generated, i.e. in the buildings themselves. Biotechnology requires a lot of energy. But on a beautiful sunny day, some 15% of the electricity we use will soon be covered by our own roofs. That is a very good feeling. After the summer we plan to celebrate this with a festive official opening”.

The seed for the project lies in the participation of Poonawalla Science Park in ‘Het Bilts Energie Beraad’. This joint venture between the municipality of De Bilt, BENG! and 18 large companies and organisations is committed to an energy-neutral De Bilt. For this project, Poonawalla Science Park worked closely together with BENG!, the energy cooperative of and by residents in De Bilt. “They took the initiative and their knowledge and perseverance helped enormously”, says Le Loux. The third partner is the Greenspread project agency, which is responsible for financing and operating the solar park. Everyone's role and input was important. BENG! always kept the importance for De Bilt in mind and remained the catalyst. Greenspread thought along inventively and contributed specific financial expertise'.

Using experience
The process of preliminary research, plan development and realization took a few years. In the meantime, a subsidy was granted by the Dutch government (SDE+) to stimulate the generation of more sustainable energy. As a result, over the next 16 years, compensation will be paid for the solar power produced. Poonawalla Science Park and BENG! are happy to share their experiences with others. We are happy to support the energy transition in De Bilt, also for smaller projects. Companies and institutions with plans can mail to: communicatie@poonawallasciencepark.nl or info@beng2030.nl.

Source: Poonawalla Science Park