Parking underneath PV panels: Solar park Carport Bloemendaal

Two car parks near Bloemendaal aan Zee were covered with a total of 10,000 m2 of solar panels just before the summer of 2020. These will yield 2 million kilowatt hours annually. Both the surrounding beach pavilions and the parked electric cars – there are currently 30 charging stations in the car parks – can benefit from this clean energy. The project was commissioned by Rooftop Energy and Adamant Solar and completed by Batenburg Energietechniek and Batenburg Installatietechniek.

In 2017, the municipality of Bloemendaal adopted a motion to turn two seaside car parks into a solar park. There are not many options for solar energy within the municipality itself without harming nature. This location is ideal: the PV panels offer shade to the parked cars and contribute to the energy transition. The Danish company Better Energy accepted the assignment and started the application for the environmental permit. When Better Energy withdrew from the Netherlands, Adamant Solar took over their activities. Adamant Solar entered into a joint venture with Rooftop Energy to jointly carry out the assignment for Bloemendaal. ‘As Rooftop Energy, we are financier, developer, owner and operator,’ says Richard Weemen, Project Manager of Rooftop Energy. ‘Therefore, our customers do not have to invest themselves, nor do they have to bear any technical responsibility. We receive the proceeds of the electricity generated and pay them rent for the space. We invest and enter into long-term relationships, because a project like this must be able to produce electricity for 25 years. This also means that we must provide high-quality installations. This is one of the reasons why we work with Batenburg Techniek. Their group has all the necessary disciplines in-house and offers a single point of contact for the entire project.’

Easy to expand with energy storage

Job Ferdinandus is Account Manager and Product Manager at Batenburg Energietechniek, part of Batenburg Techniek. Ferdinandus: ‘We developed the park together with Richard and our sister company Batenburg Installatietechniek. Batenburg supplied all electrical engineering components; those we import ourselves as well as all other parts. This included a transformer substation that meets Alliander’s requirements, and a transformer station specifically developed for PV panels. A special feature in the design is the busbar that leads to the inverter station that receives power from the PV panels. The choice for a busbar, to which all kinds of components can still be attached, allows for future expansion with energy storage in batteries or hydrogen. Finally, Batenburg Installatietechniek provided the lighting and cameras. All this for two car parks.’

Prefabricated, because it is faster and more economical

‘Both in the design and in the execution, we had to take into account the special location: by the sea,’ says Patrick Kleine Schaars, Project Manager at Batenburg Installatietechniek. ‘Wind, salt and sand increase the risk of corrosion. This means you opt for stainless steel brackets and clips, treat each screw hole and ensure the containers are as windproof and therefore sand-proof as possible. We also prefabricated the system in our own workshop, under controlled conditions. This allowed us to work faster and more economically. We delivered complete containers on-site that could be linked together in one day. The foundation and the steel structure were made by MORRENsolar, and Xperal Zonnepanelen supplied and installed the PV panels. This was all done in excellent cooperation.’

Solar car parks are getting increasingly interesting

Richard Weemen: ‘This was a project that we were able to build quickly, properly and in a pleasant way. In the meantime, we will continue to look for ways to reduce the cost price of these types of car parks so they become profitable more quickly. This process is aided by the advent of increasingly powerful solar panels, which increase the yield, while there is still some room for lowering the price of construction. This may be achieved by using wood or other materials. In the Regional Energy Strategies, solar car parks are given their own role. We will make sure we are ready for that.’