Start signal for Groenoord heat net

Today the start was given for the construction of a heat network in Groenoord with the signing of the contracts between the municipality of Schiedam, Woonplus and Eneco. The partners are proud that the Schiedam municipal council is one of the first in the Netherlands to make an existing neighborhood free from natural gas.

Following the decision of the Schiedam council on December 15, the contracts for the implementation of the project were signed today. With this, further preparations for the construction of the necessary heat station and the construction of the heat network will start in 2021. The implementation of the project will take approximately 10 years, during which the municipality of Schiedam, Woonplus, Eneco and the province of South Holland will continue to work together. About 120 million euros will be invested in the district in the form of new energy infrastructure and home improvement. The project also provides in matching social opportunities, such as education and employment. In addition, residents can participate in decisions about the redesign of the public space.

Residents have the choice whether or not to switch to the heat network. Alderman Jeroen Ooijevaar: “We think it is important that people can make their own choices. Therefore residents can get free advice about home improvement and associated financing through independent advisers. Also about options other than the heat network. We think it is important that people can make the right decisions about what is feasible and affordable for them. As a municipality, we provide affordable financing from an incentive fund.”

Alderman Fahid Minhas: “At the start of the exploration, the council made housing cost neutrality the most important requirement. We are very proud that, together with our partners Woonplus and Eneco, we can now realize a heating network which is feasible and affordable for our residents. In this project we give the residents more comfort in heating, but also the chance to improve education, more employment in the municipality and an improvement of the housing stock. In this way the entire neighborhood will benefit."

Director Emile Klep of Woonplus: “We are pleased with this decision by the city council. Woonplus can now start the work in Groenoord. Maintenance is combined with home improvement and the homes are also immediately prepared for the heat network. With this, Woonplus can offer its tenants a comfortable, sustainable and affordable home in a nice neighborhood.”

Manja Thiry, Business Development Director of Eneco: “Transparency was a central point in our close cooperation with the municipality of Schiedam and Woonplus, also on a technical and financial level. This made it possible to design a very efficient heating system, which enabled us to achieve the lowest connection costs in the Netherlands. The construction of this heat network enables Groenoord to become more sustainable and the municipality is taking a major step towards fossil-free heat. Residents can continue to count on a warm home at an affordable price.”

Berend Potjer, Deputy for Energy, Province of South Holland: “Natural gas-free Groenoord is now becoming a reality. A few months ago I was allowed to kick off the first project with the alderman and housing cooperative. It's great that the municipality is now taking this step and allowing the entire neighborhood to benefit. Schiedam thus becomes an example of how it is possible to heat older neighborhoods sustainably. As a province, we cooperated in the preparations and we are happy to share the experiences from this district with other municipalities. All this to ultimately offer residents more comfort, sustainable heat and at lower costs.”