Residents at the Voortje location in Mierlo are not happy. They now have a view of eleven hectares of land. A solar park may soon take its place.
A company called Tomorrow Energy wants to build a solar park. They are only waiting for a permit from the municipality. The municipality has previously announced that it is open to this development. Nearly twenty per cent of the households in Geldrop-Mierlo could be supplied with locally generated green electricity.
If it is up to a handful of residents, the solar park will not come into effect. “The biggest problem is the view that you have lost,” says Renee Schlink, who lives opposite the field. “You live in the countryside by choice. You don’t want to look at all those panels.”
Another fear of residents is noise nuisance. The park comes along the A67. Residents are afraid that the sound will only be amplified by a field full of solar panels. “I have panels on my roof myself,” says neighbour Pierre Kantelbergs. “When I’m there I hear the traffic much better than before I had it.”
Panels on roof
If a permit is given, the local residents may object. Municipal guidelines give preference to solar panels on roofs and in the city. “Solar panels on roofs cost a bit more money,” explains Kantelbergs. “They should not choose the cheapest solution, but the best”.
Role of residents
The municipality says it has received Tomorrow Energy’s permit application and will make a final decision about the arrival of the solar park later this year. In addition, a spokesperson indicates that the company must meet all kinds of conditions. It includes, the possible adverse effects of the solar park on the environment must be clear. Local residents must also be involved in the process and design.
The municipality says that panels on roofs are indeed preferable. But, more effort is needed to make the switch to fully sustainable energy. A survey shows that ground-based solar panels are also needed in rural areas.”
The province of North Brabant is currently struggling with an overloaded electricity network. However, the municipality does not foresee any problems. No new quotations are accepted for solar parks. Tomorrow Energy has already arranged a quotation and an electricity connection with Enexis.
Source : Omroep Brabant
Translated by: Shanthi Ramani