Nissan starts construction on largest community solar roof in the Netherlands

Electric vehicle (EV) pioneer Nissan has begun construction on the largest collective solar roof in the Netherlands, which will provide enough renewable electricity to power 900 homes once it is completed in May 2018.

Nissan has spent the last couple of years integrating its EV portfolio into solutions that can provide renewable electricity under an Intelligent Mobility strategy. Now, construction has started at the Nissan Motor Parts Center in Amsterdam on an 8,911-panel solar roof array.

“This project is perfectly suited to Nissan’s endeavours to make mobility smarter and more sustainable,” Nissan Benelux’s managing director Koen Maes said. “That’s why we are working on sustainable energy production and on projects such as energy storage in used batteries, vehicles which return energy to the network and car sharing. The solar roof is one of the cornerstones.”

Nissan is enabling the wider public to participate in the project. Part of the project is financed through a crowdfunding initiative from ZonnepanelenDelen, which translates to solar panel bonds.

Each bond purchase costs €25, which covers a 15-year yield based on the amount of solar generated and the current electricity prices. The yield will also be paid out annually. The crowdfunding has already exceeded its €500,000 with more than two months still to go.

A total of 20,000 bond purchases are available and Nissan is utilising a subsidy scheme to offer a minimum price per kWh over the lifetime of the project. The remaining €3.2m has been raised through the ASN Bank and the sustainability fund of the borough of Amsterdam.

The Dutch solar roof installation will consist of 8,911 panels, each able to generate 2.7 million kWh. The first section is scheduled for operation at the end of February, and the project will be fully completed in May.

Intelligent innovation

It seems that Nissan has made Amsterdam its unofficial testing ground. Nissan and power management company Eaton will implement one of Europe’s largest commercial energy storage systems at the Amsterdam ArenA stadium.

In October this year, new public charging infrastructure and an innovative commitment to give users free access to flexible electricity sourcing were announced alongside new Nissan EV models. It is part of a move from the carmaker to give its customers free power to charge EVs, using a Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) charger which enables users to draw or send electricity to and from the grid for no cost.

The company is already committed to trialling and assessing microgrid systems across Europe in 2018, to examine how local communities can gain access to sustained energy sources, by combining renewable energy and battery storage technologies.

Matt Mace

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