Alfen selected by Solarcentury to provide two high-voltage power grid connections 07-05-2018

Alfen selected by Solarcentury to connect two large-scale solar farms to the grid

Alfen, specialist in energy solutions for the future, has been selected by Solarcentury to provide the high-voltage power grid connections for a 17.5 megawatt-peak (MWp) solar farm at the location of recycling company Twence in Enschede, the Netherlands as well as for a solar farm of approximately 45 MWp at the location of zinc smelting company Nyrstar in Budel, the Netherlands.

History of Solarcentury projects together with Alfen

Solarcentury is an international utility-scale solar developer, financing, developing, constructing, owning and operating large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) projects. Alfen has been supporting Solarcentury with solutions for multiple smaller solar PV farms in the recent years. In 2016, Alfen connected a 6 MWp solar farm on the island of Ameland in the Netherlands, which was the largest Dutch solar farm at that time. In 2016 and 2017, Alfen was engaged by Solarcentury for two smaller solar farms, of 1.3 MWp and 1.5 MWp respectively, at the location of recycling company Twence in Enschede, the Netherlands.

Innovations for larger sized solar farms

The roll-out of solar PV farms is gaining speed in the Netherlands, both in terms of numbers and size. With over 60,000 solar panels, approximately 20 hectares and a capacity of 17.5 MWp, the project at Twence can provide energy for approximately 4,500 houdeholds. The project at Nyrstar is even bigger, with over 150,000 solar panels covering 60 hectares and with a capacity of approximately 45 MWp. For both projects Alfen’s scope of supply includes the engineering, project management, installation, commissioning and service of the local micro-grids, including the delivery of Alfen’s innovative 2,500 kVA solar PV substations and the realization of the central grid connection.

Rick Fransen, Business Development at Solarcentury Benelux, comments: “Our global development pipeline is currently more than 3 GWp of which more than 400 MWp in the Netherlands. As capacities and voltages are increasing, we have been looking for new solutions to maximize energy efficiency while minimizing costs. Alfen has developed a tailormade and integrated grid connection solution to support these new developments in solar PV projects, which further supports our business cases.”

Strategy on solar PV

Richard Jongsma, Commercial Director at Alfen, comments: “We are very pleased with this continuation and expansion of our relationship with Solarcentury. These projects fit perfectly in our strategy, part of which is the expansion into the solar PV segment. We supply local micro-grids and grid connections, amongst others to solar farms. In doing so, our vast experience with the electricity networks of the grid operators is essential. We can support in addressing the challenges arising from the energy transition with our transformer substations, but also with our smart EV chargers and energy storage systems that can be used, amongst others, to balance the fluctuating output of solar PV farms. Through the collaboration with Solarcentury, Alfen can further demonstrate the quality of its solutions in the heart of the energy transition.”

Both projects are expected to be completed in 2018.