Collective solar energy in Hart van de Waalsprong, Nijmegen

News item, Area and Property Development

Development combination Hart van de Waalsprong, a joint project of area developers AM and VanWonen, has signed a partnership agreement with the Wiek-II foundation for the construction and operation of a solar roof on the multi-storey car park. Residents and business owners in the Hart van de Waalsprong neighbourhood in Nijmegen have the opportunity to participate in the cooperative association that will be established for this sustainable energy provision. The energy that is generated will be available to all residents and companies in Hart van de Waalsprong.

The solar roof on the Bliek car park, in the heart of the new neighbourhood, offers space for more than 1200 PV panels with an estimated output of 370 MWh per year. With this, the solar energy project contributes significantly to the ambition to make this area development completely energy-neutral, in accordance with the energy-neutral EPC standard 0. 

Cooperative association
Residents and business owners can join the cooperative association Buren van Bliek (which translates to ‘Neighbours of Bliek’). All members of the co-op become joint owners of the solar roof. The power that is generated is supplied directly to the homes and retail spaces. And on sunny days, the surplus energy will be stored in a neighbourhood battery. The neighbours of Bliek are therefore always assured of sufficient power, also when the sun is not shining. Thanks to the use of smart technology, the participants can keep track of their consumption and the locally generated energy can be used even more efficiently. The neighbours of Bliek will even be able to decide when exactly they need power. This saves energy and gives the residents control over their own energy bill. 

René Steman, VanWonen project director for Hart van de Waalsprong: “We are very pleased to partner up with Wiek-II for the solar roof. They are experienced in the generation of renewable energy, are well known locally, and will give shape to the energy cooperative, together with the residents and entrepreneurs in Hart van de Waalsprong.” 
Thijs Huis in het Veld, project director of Hart van de Waalsprong on behalf of AM, adds: “Today, we are taking an important step towards becoming the first energy-neutral shopping centre in the Netherlands. On top of that, this innovative solar roof is an amenity that all residents and business owners in the area will benefit from.” 
Pim de Ridder, director of Wiek-II: “With the solar roof on the Bliek car park, we are creating a new energy supply that befits a new neighbourhood. The residents and business owners will receive green electricity, directly from the source to their homes. Together with the ‘Neighbours of Bliek’ they have a say in the energy price. This is how we give people control over their energy usage and bill.” 

Sustainable and comfortable living
In the development of Hart van de Waalsprong, the future is an important focus. Sustainability and comfort play a major role. All homes are connected to district heating and have underfloor heating. Solar panels help to reduce the cost of power consumption. There is also attention for a healthy and green living environment. Hart van de Waalsprong will be the first energy-neutral shopping centre in the Netherlands. With solar panels, a solar roof, nature inclusive façades, bioswales, water-storage roofs, and much green space. 

During the information meetings, the future residents will have the opportunity to sign up for the cooperative. The construction of the solar roof will start in October 2022; the system will be operational from November 2022, when the first residents will move into their homes in Hart van de Waalsprong.

Hart van de Waalsprong
Hart van de Waalsprong is located in the Hof van Holland district. This new district of Nijmegen North is conveniently located between Spiegelwaal, Graaf Alardsingel, and the railway. Hart van de Waalsprong is the heart of the Waalsprong (the area in Nijmegen north of the river Waal) for living and shopping. It is easily accessible by car, bicycle and public transport (the train station of Lent is within walking distance).  Hart van de Waalsprong is also close to the river Waal, the floodplains, and the city centre of Nijmegen. Hart van de Waalsprong will feature 500 owner-occupied and rental homes (including 101 social housing apartments), and over 35 retail units, including inviting cafes and restaurants. The new neighbourhood has a distinctive character due to its sustainability, water and greenery, exciting urban architecture, and prominent central square. 

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