29 June 2018
The city of Mechelen has high ambitions for the production of their green energy. To support these ambitions a new project called ‘Zonneklaar’ (Solar ready) has been launched. (translation: Solar ready).
The project is a consequence of the Covenant of Mayors, where local energy production is a focal point. A drastic switch to green energy is needed to achieve the targets made by the Covenant. The ‘Solar ready project helps by making it easier for citizens of Mechelen to choose solar energy.
With the official handover of the first solar panel today, the project has officially been launched.
The possibilities for producing energy locally are limited. A few months ago, it was announced that some wind turbines will be installed on Mechelen's territory, but the number of suitable locations remains limited.
Looking at suitable locations for the installation of solar panels, there are plenty: roofs. Even though the installation of solar panels is profitable, there is still a high percentage of unused (but suitable) roofs.
More and more companies are chosing for solar energy, if private citizens would do the same, an even bigger impact would be made. The ‘Solar ready’ project hopes to encourage as many citizens as possible.
The aim of the project is to realize more installations of solar panels on public and private buildings. Through third party financing, an owner puts his/her roof at the disposal of an external partner who installs solar panels on it and maintains them during the term of the contract. The owner of the roof only pays a fee that may not exceed the previous costs of electricity.
When the contract has expired, the owner of the building will become the owner of the solar panels. In this way, Mechelen can install many solar panels without having to make a major investment.
The projects are done in collaboration with the VEB, Vlaamse Energiebedrijf (translation: Flemish Energy Company). They are responsible for selecting the partner for the installations and the further follow-up of the project.
The aim of this project is to generate a capacity of 2 MW, which corresponds with an estimated production of 1 700 000 kWh. This production is the equivalent of the annual consumption of about 500 households.
This would increase the total production of green energy on Mechelen's territory by 13%. The total number of solar panels in Mechelen currently counts more than 53,000, of which 2,500 are installed buildings of the Mechelen Group.
PerPetum Energy, who will carry out the installations, will be looking for more citizens who want to invest in the project. Investors will receive an annual return on their investment. More details will be released shortly, when the operation will start.
To stimulate the installation of solar panels by their citizens, the city offers free advice from an independent expert. At this moment about 100 families have taken advantage of this.
An extra incentive is that the province of Antwerp will once again organize a group purchase for solar panels. This way people who are convinced can subscribe to an advantageous purchase price for their new solar panels.