Dutch dairy co-op to install PV on 310 farm rooftops

A Dutch dairy co-operative has partnered with an energy company to install 400,000 rooftop solar PV panels on the farms of its members.

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Under the scheme, 310 farms that are members of the FrieslandCampina dairy co-operative and have roof surfaces larger than 1000 square metres will rent the solar panels from energy provider Energiebedrijf GroenLeven, which will handle the systems’ connection, monitoring, financing, guarantees and maintenance.

The farmers will receive a payment of €3-4 ($3.50-4.70) per PV panel per year. In addition, they will be offered a yearly opportunity to purchase the PV panels and a €10 bonus for each tonne of CO2 emissions they eliminate.à‚  à‚ 

Once fully implemented, the scheme is expected to produce 115 GWh per year. In addition to powering the dairy farms, some of the power will supply FrieslandCampina’s own facilities.à‚ 

The first rooftop PV installation under the scheme came online this month.

FrieslandCampina said 1600 of its members had already installed rooftop solar systems independently. For the new scheme, it said 1500 farmers expressed interest, but an initial €200m grant from the ministry of economic affairs could only cover 310.

Roelof Joosten, FrieslandCampina CEO, said: “The ambition of FrieslandCampina is to generate sufficient green electricity at the farm yards of our member farmers to fully cover the use of electricity. With this we will contribute to the reduction objective for the year 2020 as agreed within the dairy sector.

“The agricultural sector already represents half of the national green energy production. Large-scale installation of solar panels thanks to the ‘roof-rent solution’ can help us reach this objective. With this the agricultural sector can play an even more important role in the energy transition.”

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