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First ‘roof-rent’ #solar panels at Frisian (Netherlands) dairy farm.
First ‘roof-rent’ #solar panels at Frisian (Netherlands) dairy farm.
Energy Energy

Solar programme of FrieslandCampina

The first roof with solar panels was delivered in the framework of the Solar programme of FrieslandCampina at the Elshof dairy farm in Oldetrijne (Friesland, the Netherlands) on Friday 29 September 2017. This took place in the presence of Roelof Joosten, CEO of Royal FrieslandCampina N.V., Sytse Bouwer of GroenLeven and dozens of guests.

Roelof Joosten said that he was very happy with the subsidy, which will be used to install a total of 416,000 solar panels at 310 dairy farms, where these will annually generate 115 GWh green electricity. This is equal to green electricity for 33,000 households or 20% of the total use of electricity of FrieslandCampina in the Netherlands.

Roelof Joosten: ‘The ambition of FrieslandCampina is to generate sufficient green electricity at the farm yards of our member farmers to fully cover the use of electricity. With this we will contribute to the reduction objective for the year 2020 as agreed within the dairy sector. The agricultural sector already represents half of the national green energy production. Large-scale installation of solar panels thanks to the ‘roof-rent solution’ can help us reach this objective. With this the agricultural sector can play an even more important role in the energy transition.’

Henk Kamp, Minister of Economic Affairs, recently granted a subsidy of 200 million euro for solar panels on the roofs of FrieslandCampina dairy farms. All this based on the ‘roof-rent solution’ developed by GroenLeven, in which the dairy farmer receives a payment per panel.

Climate-neutral growth

FrieslandCampina is working on several initiatives for an efficient and sustainable dairy chain in order to achieve climate-neutral growth. By purchasing green certificates, FrieslandCampina stimulates its member dairy farmers to generate sustainable energy, for example by means of windmills, manure fermentation or solar panels. On top of this, FrieslandCampina will pay these members a bonus of 10 euro per ton reduction of the CO2 emission.

Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, granted over 200 million euro SDE+ subsidy for the installation of solar panels at the roofs of FrieslandCampina member dairy farms. This will make it possible to install more than 416,000 solar panels at 310 dairy farms.

The roof rent solution of GroenLeven

The ‘roof rent solution’ of GroenLeven focuses on dairy farms with a roof surface of over 1,000 m2. GroenLeven installs a solar system on the roof of the dairy farm and takes care of its connection, monitoring, financing, guarantees and maintenance. The dairy farmer receives an annual premium of 3 to 4 euro per panel for making available the roof and can use green electricity without being forced to invest in solar panels himself. Each year, the dairy farmer is offered the choice to take over the installation and the accompanying SDE subsidy. Apart from using it at the dairy farm, a part of the solar energy will go to FrieslandCampina plants and offices in the Netherlands in order to meet their electricity demand.

Solar energy: reliable, cost-efficient and visibly ‘green’

Generation of green energy by means of solar panels is a reliable method and basically suitable for all farms. An average dairy farm roof (usually the sheds) offers room for more than enough solar panels to compensate for the full electricity demand of the farm. With solar panels a dairy farmer can visibly contribute to making the chain more sustainable. A total of 1,600 FrieslandCampina dairy farms already have solar panels.

Acceleration through the Solar programme

With the Solar programme FrieslandCampina accelerates the installation of solar panels on the roofs of at its member dairy farms. This is done by developing interesting proposals for the member dairy farmers and by entering into partnerships with experienced parties from the solar energy sector. The interest in the ‘roof-rent solution’ of GroenLeven has succeeded beyond expectations. A second participation round for FrieslandCampina member dairy farms will follow in the autumn of 2017. Hundreds of dairy farmers have already expressed their interest. Apart from the ‘roof rent solution’, the FrieslandCampina Solar programme tries to find solutions for roof surfaces smaller than 1,000 m2 as well. This way, FrieslandCampina and its member dairy farmers make a contribution to fully covering the electricity demand within the dairy chain by producing green electricity at their own farm yards.