Dronten gets energy from parking

Mr Van Amerongen, alderman of the municipality of Dronten, Mr De Reus, member of the Flevoland provincial executive, and Erwin van Gemert of Eneco, today gave the green light for the ERDF PowerParking project (ERDF: European Regional Development Fund). Parking under the 1100 solar panels at the car park behind the town hall of Dronten involves the smart integration of renewable energy generation, electric charging and energy storage.

“Sustainability is an important priority of our municipality. This is why I am particularly proud that we have accomplished this excellent sustainable and innovative project here in Dronten; the first in a series of solar parks in combination with an energy-neutral town hall”, says Mr Van Amerongen, the alderman responsible for sustainability. Member of the Flevoland provincial executive, Mr De Reus: “PowerParking contributes to the integration of sustainable energy and sustainable mobility. Both literally and figuratively speaking, businesses, knowledge institutes and public parties have made room for this innovative project together. This pilot project teaches all parties involved a lot about setting up such car parks, in Flevoland and elsewhere. Due to additional ERDF subsidy, we now have the opportunity to also conduct tests at MAC3PARK locations in the municipalities Lelystad and Almere.”

Smart and sustainable
In addition to the solar panels on the roof of the town hall and the solar carports in the parking area, the PowerParking project also involves the installation of a battery (for storage/buffering purposes) and public charging stations. The goal of ensuring that the sustainably renovated town hall will be energy-neutral and electric vehicles will be able to recharge using solar energy, is achieved through the smart integration of generating renewable energy, EV charging and energy storage. Thus, four sustainable objectives are accomplished simultaneously:

  1. contributing to increasing the share of renewable energy;
  2. reducing the strain on the energy grid;
  3. sustainable, triple-purpose land use in the form of parking, production and charging;
  4. stimulating electric mobility.

The charging infrastructure is intended for public use and for charging the municipality’s own electric vehicles. In addition to the parking lot, part of the walking and cycling paths at the town hall are also covered.

Innovative contribution to energy transition
A variety of partners are collaborating in the ERDF PowerParking project: the province of Flevoland, the municipality of Dronten, Delft Technical University (TU Delft), Eneco, Lelystad Airport, Lelystad Airport Business Park, Alfen and Pontis Engineering. They all agree that this smart and flexible energy system contributes to the energy transition in an innovative manner. The ERDF project is funded from the Kansen voor West II programme, and co-financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, the province of Flevoland, and all the partners.

Learning from sustainable parking together
TU Delft will be monitoring the results of the pilot at Dronten’s town hall and simultaneously perform a test on bidirectional charging at The Green Village at the university campus. The test in this field lab for sustainable innovations in the built environment will involve the use the batteries of electric cars for energy storage purposes. Together with other innovative businesses, Eneco has worked hard to lower the costs of the solar energy carport system and integrate the charging facilities and energy storage into the Eneco ZonnigLaden concept; a sustainable carport for smart charging cars by means of solar power. This solution allows companies and organisations to take big steps in their sustainability ambitions in a relatively simple manner. The charging infrastructure that is part of the system is supplied by Alfen. The smart Alfen charging stations are designed to charge four cars at once, maximise charging speeds, and optimise energy consumption, resulting in the efficient use of the available space and energy.

Two further locations
Additional subsidy makes it possible to also implement the PowerParking concept at two MAC3PARK car parks in Lelystad and Almere. This means that more than 180 additional parking spaces will be covered with solar panels and 24 extra charging stations will be installed. In view of the different visitor and charging profiles, this will provide valuable additional information for further rollout. The aim is to subsequently extend the PowerParking concept to other car parks without the use of ERDF subsidy.

Director of MAC3PARK since early 2020, Marian Mulder, is very pleased: “Fortunately, the owner, Meine Breemhaar, immediately accepted my request to participate in this unique opportunity. As I see it, MAC3PARK will be creating a sustainable environment for its tenants, allowing them to concentrate on conducting business. These two PowerParking locations are not only a major step in the right direction, they also fit in perfectly with our plans of opening a circular hub in Lelystad.”