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Sustainable "Vlaamse Staak"

A Rolecs’ demonstration site

This pilot project, supported by the Flemish Region, in collaboration with POM Vlaams-Brabant, the municipality of Opwijk, Haviland, Th!nk E, Powerdale and Wattson aims to realize a sustainable energy concept for the SME business parks "De Vlaamse Staak".

Due to the high cost to extend the natural gas network to the business park, alternative sustainable energy concepts were sought.

The feasibility of various alternatives was studied by Wattson, Th!nk E, Boydens Engineering and Fieldfisher. A geothermal-based grid was not eligible due to the excessive investment cost. Heating the buildings based on heat pumps and solar panels was the alternative put forward as a sustainable solution.

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Awaiting the possible establishment of a Renewable Energy Community, an ESCO-light approach will be provided that optimizes the energy concept for each SME. It is important that Wattson gives advice on the realization of the heat pumps/solar panels concept starting from the design phase of the building and that the sizing of the concept elements can be done based on the specific energy needs of each SME.

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Wattson finances and manages the heat pumps through monitoring, control of energy performance and maintenance. The monitoring system is developed along with Powerdale and Th!nk E and aims to optimize the energy consumption of every SME. By monitoring, Wattson gets a much better view of SMEs' effective energy profiles, which in itself is an important fact to be able to transform De Vlaamse Staak into a Renewable Energy Community (REC).

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If this potential exists, combined with more clarity on the fare structures and modalities, the business case will be reviewed to finally decide or not to decide for a "REC De Vlaamse Staak".

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At this very moment, in economically uncertain Corona times, 5 SMEs have started the construction of their business premises on De Vlaamse Staak. In the meantime, an agreement could be concluded with these SMEs for an energy concept based on heat pumps and solar panels. The first heat pumps are expected in early 2021.

Members involved

Th!nk E
Wattson
Boydens Engineering
Fieldfisher