May 21, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Arendonk doesn’t want to build its own solar garden: “It’s a waste of open space” (Arendonk)

Arendonk doesn’t want to build its own solar garden: “It’s a waste of open space” (Arendonk)

The Crystal Solar Park in Lommel, near the Nierstar zinc plant in Ballen, is the largest solar park in the Benelux.© RR


The city council rejected the proposal of the opposition party A + to build a large solar panel park in Arendonk, as in the neighboring municipality of Reusel-De Mierden, the Netherlands. “We think a garden like this is a waste of open space,” said senior alderman Luke Bowen (Ederne 2370).

Eddie Mollmans

There are actually twelve windmills in the Arendonk region today: seven along the E34 motorway, three in the Huge Mau Industrial Park, and two more at the Ravago Productions on Poederstraat. This is approximately one windmill per thousand inhabitants. However, this is still not sufficient to achieve the intended municipal climate goals. That is why the city council decided in December to allocate an additional €330,000 in this year’s budget for sustainable investments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and make the Arendoncón more energy-neutral. Later this year, for example, the roof of the pool will be covered almost entirely with solar panels.

Solar Park Forest Hecant

Alderman Benny Mays (A+) thinks this is a good idea, but suggests building a large solar panel park on top of it. “Experiences in our neighboring countries, the Netherlands and Germany, where there are already more established solar parks, show that these projects can be very successful, especially if local people can also participate,” he says. A good example can be found nearby, just across the border in Reusel-De Mierden. There, Solarfields, together with KempenStroom, is fully involved in the development of Zonnepark Voorste Heikant.

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Cover the bishop first

Majority parties N-VA and Everyone 2370 are not enthusiastic about such a solar park in Arendonk. “We think it’s a shame to put solar panels on the ground and sacrifice our precious open space for it,” says Alderman Luke Bowen (Iedereen 2370). “We think it makes sense to use the roofs of our buildings first. I’m primarily thinking of government buildings, but also farm stables and commercial buildings. The aerial photo of our industrial park shows that there are still many opportunities in that area.”

The opposition party Vooruit-Groen also believes that it is undesirable to “close” nature and farmland with solar panels. So the A+ proposal was rejected en masse.

Two hundred football fields

By the way, the largest solar park in Benelux is located in Lommel, near the Nyrstar zinc plant in Balen: the Kristal Solar Park is two hundred football fields in size and contains more than three hundred thousand solar panels, which is enough to supply 25,000 households. green electricity.