The success of a community owned windturbine in the Netherlands
A succesful first 5 months
The ‘Volksmolen’, one of the WES turbines on the Windfarm Zijpe in the Netherlands, passed the production milestone of 125.000 kWh within 5 months. This turbine was installed on November 1st 2019 and is the perfect ambassador of a community based renewable project.
The name ‘Volksmolen’ for the WES turbine on Windfarm Zijpe is based on the fact that it is financed by the local community. ‘Volksmolen’ can be translated into Community-turbine or ‘People’s mill’.
Together with the cooperative-owner of the windfarm Zijpe, Kennemerwind, WES set up the ‘Volksmolen-project’. The goal of this project was to replace one of three stationary turbines by means of citizen participation.
The local community from, among others, Burgerbrug, Schoorl, Bergen, Groet, Petten, Koedijk and Warmenhuizen in the province North-Holland were able to contribute to the financing of the Volksmolen by purchasing so-called ‘Windshares’. In compensation, the members are exempted from the energy tax on electricity for 15 years (an incentive from the Dutch government), a guarantee for cheap green energy, which is produced locally. The sale of the Windshares was very sucessful, which proves that local sustainability is populair in this region.
Furthermore, in the Netherlands (especially in North-Holland and Friesland) there are a lot of stationary or economically poorly rotating medium wind-turbines. These turbines are outdated after about 25 years of production, delivering a lower performance because they are at the end of the technical lifespan. In many cases, turbines have been shut down because the compensation for the generated electricity does not cover the cost of maintenance. This indicates there are a lot of opportunities left in the Netherlands for community owned turbines.
There might be interesting opportunities for you as well. In these odd times, the benefit of renewable energy production is not affected by this and continues as usual. If you are looking for more information, we are available and more than happy to help.