Location: Almere, the Netherlands
Client: municipality of Almere and energy company Nuon
Entering the Noorderplassen-West, Almere, by bus one drives through a large blue oval island. More than five hundred solar water heaters, with a surface of 7000 m2, provide ten percent of the heat needed in this new built development in Almere (NL). The 2700 dwellings of Noorderplassen-West are connected to district heating. The generated heat by the sun island is guided into this system. The oval shape of the field is chosen to minimize the energy loss during transport. Using the energy from the sun to heat water is much more energy efficient than converting is into electricity with photovoltaic panels. Being the third largest solar heat collector in the world it not loved by all its neighbours. The project is paid by Nuon, the European Union and by the citizens of the Noorderplassen-West. Many were not properly informed and where far from pleased they paying for it . Citizens paid for this investment, while the energy profit would be better, and their money better spend, when they could have the sun panels on their own roof. Also the urban layout is criticized since cars have to drive extra kilometres, due to the fact that the road crossing the sun island is only for busses. Not yet loved it’s a unique project in the Netherlands sofar.