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On 9 March 2018 Sunvest submitted a request to the municipality for the construction of Cothen solar park in the municipality of Wijk bij Duurstede. Sunvest’s initiative is the first solar park in the municipality of Wijk bij Duurstede. In its response to the request in principle it states that the council of the municipality of Wijk bij Duurstede has decided to agree to the request in principle subject to certain conditions.
The solar park can make an important contribution to Wijk bij Duurstede’s climate neutral ambition of 2030. The municipality has expressed the wish to realise this ambition as much as possible in its own municipality. The plan anticipates a policy and assessment framework to be drawn up by the municipality. The municipality will take the practical experience gained from this project into account when drafting the policy and assessment framework.
In the meantime, the permit for the solar park has been issued and the municipality has used the experiences with this project to shape its policy. In May 2021 Sunvest completed the financing for Cothen solar park and in August 2021 construction began! The solar park is expected to be completed at the end of 2021 and to start supplying sustainably generated electricity to the grid in March 2022.
The landscape integration of Cothen solar park has now largely been realised. The green integration consists of trees and shrubs and was put in place as a first step, before the solar panels themselves are installed. In this way a buffer zone was created between the homes and the solar park, and the greenery can already grow this summer, so that the solar panels will soon be invisible. The construction itself, including the installation of the solar panels, will start in August 2021 and is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
Sunvest believes that local residents and the environment have an important role to play in the development of a nature inclusive solar park. In our experience this leads to a better solar park where the local area actually benefits and can participate in the energy transition.
Sunvest has held several meetings with people living in the immediate vicinity of the future solar park to gather their feedback on how the solar park can best be fitted into the environment. Based on the feedback from local residents several adjustments were made to the landscape design of the solar park.
In addition, Sunvest organised several information evenings for local residents and interested parties from the area. Sunvest used the information collected during the first walk-in evening and during the discussions with local residents to draw up a new version of the development plan that is more in line with the wishes and preferences expressed. This modified plan was presented by Sunvest at the second information evening on 25 March 2019