Henk Kamp, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, granted over 200 million euro SDE+ subsidy for the installation of solar panels at the roofs of FrieslandCampina member dairy farms. This will make it possible to install more than 416,000 solar panels at 310 dairy farms. With a combined total surface exceeding 100 football pitches, these panels will generate more than 20 percent of the electricity for the Dutch plants and offices of the dairy company. This equals 33,000 average households. GroenLeven Heerenveen will install the panels.
This subsidy allocation is an important step in the FrieslandCampina Solar programme, aimed at accelerating the installation of solar panels at dairy farms. A major result of the Solar programme is the ‘roof rent solution’ developed in cooperation with GroenLeven. The ambition of FrieslandCampina is to generate sufficient green electricity at the farm yards to fully cover the use of electricity within the chain and thus contributing to achieve climate neutral growth in 2020. Therefore FrieslandCampina stimulates the production of green electricity by offering dairy farmers a 10 euro bonus for each ton reduction of CO2 emission.
The roof rent solution of GroenLeven
The ‘roof rent solution’ of GroenLeven focuses on dairy farms with a roof surface of over 1,000 m2. GroenLeven installs a solar system on the roof of the dairy farm and takes care of its connection, monitoring, financing, guarantees and maintenance. The dairy farmer receives an annual premium of 3 to 4 euro per panel for making available the roof and can use green electricity without being forced to invest in solar panels himself. Each year, the dairy farmer is offered the choice to take over the installation and the accompanying SDE subsidy. Apart from using it at the dairy farm, a part of the solar energy will go to FrieslandCampina plants and offices in the Netherlands in order to meet their electricity demand.
Solar energy: reliable, cost-efficient and visibly ‘green’
Generation of green energy by means of solar panels is a reliable method and basically suitable for all farms. An average dairy farm roof (usually the sheds) offers room for more than enough solar panels to compensate for the full electricity demand of the farm. With solar panels a dairy farmer can visibly contribute to making the chain more sustainable. A total of 1,600 FrieslandCampina dairy farms already have solar panels.
Acceleration through the Solar programme
With the Solar programme FrieslandCampina accelerates the installation of solar panels on the roofs of at its member dairy farms. This is done by developing interesting proposals for the member dairy farmers and by entering into partnerships with experienced parties from the solar energy sector. The interest in the ‘roof-rent solution’ of GroenLeven has succeeded beyond expectations. A second participation round for FrieslandCampina member dairy farms will follow in the autumn of 2017. Hundreds of dairy farmers have already expressed their interest. Apart from the ‘roof rent solution’, the FrieslandCampina Solar programme tries to find solutions for roof surfaces smaller than 1,000 m2 as well. This way, FrieslandCampina and its member dairy farmers make a contribution to fully covering the electricity demand within the dairy chain by producing green electricity at their own farm yards.