Monday 15 August 2022

Green housing district gets its electricity from a diesel generator

A new residential neighbourhood in Westzaan, where the homes are gas free, have solar panels and heat pumps, is currently getting its electricity from a diesel generator because it has not been connected to the national grid.

The district, which has been praised for its green credentials, welcomed its first residents in March, but they still have no idea when the national grid connection will be completed and the noisy, and polluting, generator can be switched off.

In addition, the solar panels on each house have been producing electricity which cannot be pumped back into the grid – and instead is being used to create heat that nobody needs.

Grid company Alliander told the Telegraaf that the network is currently overloaded and needs an extra transformer to make the link. ‘We wanted to do this earlier this year, but when we started work on the foundations, it transpired that the ground is polluted.’

The work is now being carried out and the connection should be completed in October, Alliander said. ‘In the meantime, people are living in the houses and they don’t want to be without electricity, so we opted for the generator instead.’

Local resident and energy transition expert Jeroen Busche told the paper Alliander should give residents compensation so that they don’t have to turn on the solar panels.

‘Or place a mobile battery container next to the generator, if necessary equipped with solar panels, so that you can store the energy,’ he said.And the generator can at least turn off at night. This is simply the cheapest option.’

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