Participation 2 min. reading time

50% ownership within a solar farm

Knowledge base 50% ownership within a solar farm

A solar project should create added value for the local community. This can be arranged in various ways, but one thing is paramount: we do it together. In our participation range, we talk about the three participation pillars: Landscape participation, social participation and financial participation. For each project we look at the optimal relationship between these three possibilities. On this page you can read how Novar works together to achieve 50% local ownership as a form of financial participation.

The climate law

The Climate Act states that there should be 50% local ownership. This is not an obligation but an aspiration. If possible, when all parties share the costs, revenues and risks, we fully support this 50% ownership. However, practice shows that 50% ownership leads to discussions. It remains important to keep discussing the wording from the participation range and the Climate Agreement. 

All municipalities in the Netherlands have signed the Climate Agreement. The point is to give the local environment the opportunity to co-invest and become co-owners if they wish. So is a project with 35% local ownership an undesirable project? Novar and many energy cooperatives don't think so. We are still contributing to the (municipal) goals for sustainability and achieving energy transition.

Novar and ownership

At Novar, we do not view ownership as legal control. Our aim is to appoint Novar as director of the project. This consideration has to do with the necessary decision-making ability of projects. We cooperate with cooperatives if this speeds up project planning. There is a risk that decisions will have to wait if the energy cooperative also provides a director who only works as a volunteer and is only available in the evenings or on weekends. This time is not always available, for example when submitting a permit, determining an SDE amount, or reserving grid capacity. 

These phases largely determine the success rate and business case of the energy project. A delay in these phases can halt or even end the entire project for a long time. Instead of appointing a director from a cooperative, Novar will ask for a formal instruction to accompany the Novar director. Ultimately, the corporations and Novar have the same interests, which is to realize a socially embedded solar park.

Collaborating with different parties

Finally, it is important that cooperation with a cooperative does not jeopardize the licensing process due to unclear financial backgrounds. Novar therefore argues that the money deposited by the cooperative meets requirements good financial backgrounds such as EnergieSamen, Bank Nederlandse Gemeenten. Without these requirements, a license could not be granted because the SPV would not pass the tests.

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