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Solar park in Emmeloord. Image credit: Groenleven
|#||Verified||Project name||Size [MW]||#Panels||Location||Province||Type||Lead Companies & Organizations||Operating||Est. energy generation [kWh/jr]||SDE+|
|9||Operational||Andijk||15,00||45000||Andijk Zuid, Medemblik||F.O.||F.O.||F.O.||F.O.||F.O.||F.O.|
Looking at the utility-scale market for Solar PV in the Netherlands, we see a quickly growing market in terms of number of projects and overall project size. When compiling a list of the top 50 projects (including several projects in advanced-enough stages of construction to guarantee completion), the list encompasses 583 MW of solar capacity in total, with an average project size of around 11.7MW. This is a significant increase when compared to the lists of recent years. The largest project is now situated in Borsele/Vlissingen, boasting 54 MW of power generation capacity. That’s a big jump compared to the 30MW Delfzijl project that topped off the list last year and especially the 6MW Ameland project on top of the list the year before. All in all, more than 2,000,000 panels have been installed in the top 50 projects combined.
|Total size [MW]||583 MW|
|Under construction||4 out of 50|
|Average project size
(involved with ‘x’ projects)
| Groenleven: 6 projects
Chint Solar/Astronergy: 6 projects
Ecorus: 4 projects
Solarfields: 4 projects
KiesZon: 4 projects
IB Vogt: 3 projects
Solarcentury: 3 projects
SolarEnergyWorks: 3 projects
Obton: 3 projects
Rabobank: 3 projects
|Leading provinces|| Friesland: 6 projects
Groningen: 6 projects
Noord-Holland: 6 projects
|Division project types|| Field: 33
A shift is not only visible in the size of projects, but also in the companies that are leading the pack and the regions that account for most of the projects. This year, project developers Groenleven, Ecorus and Solarfields top the list in terms of the number of projects they are involved with. The provinces Friesland, Groningen and Noord-Holland are currently leading when it comes to the number of large-scale projects they host. Moreover, we continue to see the share of large field projects growing and the share of rooftop projects slumping, as developers and asset owners increasingly utilize their obtained SDE+ subsidies for utility-scale solar development.
When it comes to new technological developments coming to fruition, this year’s list marks the first entry of a significant floating solar project. This 1.6 MW plant is based in Lingewaard. In the coming period, we even expect to see a lot more floating solar projects coming online and claiming spots on this list.
However, the surge of solar PV in the Netherlands is also resulting in significant challenges. Especially for the country’s electricity grid, this is increasingly becoming the case. Grid operators are issuing reports about grid congestion in a growing number of areas, predominantly the before-mentioned regions that are quickly becoming solar energy hot spots. As a result, several projects have already been postponed until a later time, when grid-connection capacity and grid-transport capacity can allow them to be constructed and connected. In the meantime, short-term solutions are being sought, for instance within the space of regulatory frameworks. Formerly required back-up capacity for malfunctioning or service operations in the grid, is now being freed up to allow for more solar capacity to be connected.
The Dutch PV market has now reached between 4.3-4.5 GW of cumulative capacity, growing by 1.3-1.5 GW in 2018 according to estimates from Peter Segaar (PolderPV). Despite the challenges, there is still a very large pipeline left of projects under development, which are using the government’s SDE+ subsidies. Considering the significant pipeline in advanced stages of development, the new rounds of SDE+ subsidy grants and the proactive approach in finding solutions to looming grid-connection and grid-congestions issues, one can be confident that the Dutch market will continue to draw attention and excitement, as well as offer plenty of opportunities for investors and developers alike. Next June we will again assemble the most relevant solar professionals in the Dutch market, and discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the Dutch PV market. Hot topics will include:
|Grid developments & constraints||Professionalizing the role of municipalities|
|Land availability & utilization||Solar in a future subsidy-free market|
|Local stakeholder involvement||PPAs & energy trading|
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