Dutch island beats St. Maarten with large solar power farm

POSTED: 03/13/16 7:32 PM

GREAT BAY – St. Maarten has more sun, but the Dutch island of Ameland will soon have the largest solar power farm in the Netherlands. It will become operational next month, broadcaster NOS reported yesterday.

The size of the farm gives an idea about the space that St. Maarten would need for a solar initiative. The solar farm has 23,000 panels and will produce enough electricity to supply all 1,700 households on the Dutch island. It covers an area of land the size of 12 football pitches and is located near the air field.

Ameland’s council wants to become completely self-sufficient in electricity by 2020. The solar farm project has three partners, the island council, the Eneco power company and a cooperative backed by the islanders themselves. While most are happy about the project and dozens of locals have invested money via the cooperative, there are some dissident voices.

Vird protection groups say the solar farm has disrupted a breeding ground for birds who like to nest on open ground. The Ameland facility will not hold the title of largest farm for long. Several bigger solar farms are being planned, including one near Delfzijl in northern Groningen.

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Comments (2)


  1. Ben de Jong says:

    On Ameland, scarce and productive farmland has been taken and the project will be an albatross around the neck of the council and Ameland’s investors.

  2. TS Garp says:

    St. Maarten should invest in solar energy as the free energy from the sun is so abundant here. Energy produced by GEBE cost 3 to 4 times a s much as energy produced in Europe or America. Sure, getting the diesel for powering the generators of GEBE cost extra money and is therefore understandable that enery on St. Maarten cost more than on large continents. But that should for sure stimulate the setup of solar panels. With an investment of just a few thousand dollars for an average household, families could provide enough power for their household to have a close to zero bill from GEBE. And that investment is earned back in 3 to 4 years and then you benefit 20 years from free solar energy.

    And for the less financially strong families they could even start with one solar panel producing 300W of energy every hour in daytime. That is over 90kWh per month.
    I call upon the residents to check their GEBE bill and see how much they consume. Contact one of the solar power installers on the island and see what they can do for you.

    If every home on St. Maarten would have solar on their roofs, we would be less dependent on GEBE and therefore need less fuel from overseas to fuel GEBE.
    The island economy would rise and we would be greener to our environment.
    Also think of replacing your electricity guzzling light bulbs with LED lights. The prices of LED lights in the stores on St. Maarten should drop their prices drastically if they want to make some money as an average 60W equivalent LED lamp cost in the USA around $3 the same LED lamp cost between $15 and $20 on St. Maarten. No wonder people order their items online.

    Go Green and Save Your self a lot of money. It’s one of the best investments you can make for your self and your children!