Frequently Asked Questions
We hear a lot that people make this remark. Ideally of course all rooftops should be covered with solar panels, but it is not that simple. First of all we have to acknowledge that roofs only represent a small part (8-10%) of the total capacity needed. Therefore, we should look further and solar parks are an essential part of the solution. Furthermore, covering all roofs is ultimately a slow process, as we have to deal with many homeowners, housing associations, etc., and the logistics of this would not allow us to reach the optimal targets.
Without a doubt it is necessary to have good farming grounds across the country as it provides us with the majority of staple crops for urban and rural inhabitants across the nation. Perhaps though that is only part of the story as without the required optimal energy, food production would not be possible. We believe ultimately a proper balance has to be achieved in which solar parks and farms co-exist next to each other to produce green energy. Furthermore, a park is never build for aesthetics but rather for practical and rational reasons. When this is compared to a highway, an airport, an industrial area, a windmill park or even a nuclear energy power plant, it is easy to conclude that the solar park has by far a more positive impact on the community and environment.
Sometimes a solar park is defined as a permanent structure that is taking away ground from the farmers and the growing of crops or cattle. Clearly the creation of such solar parks is part of the solution. It has to be taken into account though that these parks are created for 20 - 25 years and can easily to be removed. As such, they are not as permanent as you may be initially be inclined to believe. Furthermore the parks do not use fertilisers (or other chemicals) and the ground will be covered by grass. Hence there is no damaging effects to the ground and soil and farming is easily possible and feasible again following the removal of the ground mounted panels.
Though some scientists might find a solar panel beautiful, we agree that a forest or a farmland is by far more aesthetically appealing. An argument that we sometimes hear from potential neighbours of a park is that they fear it will become an industrial area. We fully understand these concerns and will do all that is possible to address them. When possible we do give preference to plots neighbouring highways, train tracks or forests, as to minimize the visual impact for neighbours and the community. In addition, we usually consult with the municipality to find an optimal solution. Furthermore, we ensure the growing of a green border (hedges and bushes) around the park so that there will be no visual disturbance.
There are no substantial disadvantages for the direct neighbours or the community as a whole. For example there would be no nuisance of sound and it will not create a busy working atmosphere, as the operative park is almost maintenance free. Furthermore, there is no use of fertilisers or chemicals, which would lead to any foul or unwarranted smells. The park’s border would be visually attractive and designed in a way so that small wild animals can still easily move freely throughout the park.
Nowadays we see many companies market themselves with words such as: local participation and national company. In doing so they try to stimulate sentiments of local employment and financing. However, you must take into account that there are hardly any panels produced locally and most are sourced from international manufacturers, the parks have low maintenance requirements and the large financing requirements mostly falls outside the reach of local energy cooperations and banks. We believe that the advantage lies in generating green energy locally, by focussing on the best materials, knowledge and resources to make this a successful project. We do of course give preference to locally made materials to stimulate participation, but above all we will give preference to the best components out there to ensure long-term success and viability of the park.
There are many project developers in the market and some are competing for the same plots of land. As such, price wars are created, leading to lease prices for projects that are not justified; as the higher process would make the project not sustainable or feasible in the long run. This leads to such projects being put on hold or stranded in the early stages of the development cycle. Our lease prices are fair, according to general market conditions and ensure the future success of the project.
The lease contract with the farm owner provides the possibility to sell the ground at any desired point in time. The contract will then simply transfer to the new owner, who will then serve the remaining duration of the lease contract and receive the agreed compensation.