Press Release 12/09/2023

First panel installed at Dorkwerd solar thermal park

New milestone achieved for largest solar thermal farm

Groningen, Sept. 12, 2023 - The Dorkwerd solar thermal park developed by Novar, K3 and TVP Solar, which will supply heat to WarmteStad's heat grid, has reached a new milestone in the realization process. The 1st panel, of the total of 24,000 collectors to be installed, has been placed on K3's former dredging depot.

'We are very proud of the fact that we are another step closer towards heating 2,600 households in Groningen,' indicates Alexander Harssema, Technical Director of Novar. 'It is a first in the Netherlands to heat the heat network of the city of Groningen on this scale with a sustainable technology.'

Efficient technology without heat loss

The 24,000 solar collectors, the first of which were installed this week, stand out from other thermal collectors. The use of a unique vacuum technology is what makes the solar collector so special. The vacuum technology in the panel provides excellent thermal insulation in the panel. Because there is no air in the panel, the solar heat goes directly to the tubes through which the water flows. Thus, no thermal losses occur.

This technology allows the water in the collector to be heated up to 180 degrees Celsius. However, in this project it is limited to 85 degrees Celsius, allowing for higher efficiency and energy production. The collectors are manufactured in Italy and supplied by TVP Solar. 

Solar heat, even in winter

The solar collectors are designed to provide heat in all seasons, including winter. This is due to the versatile light collection of the collectors. Both direct and indirect light are captured by the collectors. In this way, the collectors deliver optimal performance even when it is cloudy or when the collectors are dirty. This also makes the collectors have minimal maintenance requirements. The rain, which washes the collectors clean, is enough.

The heat flowing through the collectors is piped to the 6,000m3 buffer tank on the solar thermal farm and stored. At night, this heat is transferred from the solar thermal park to the WarmteCentrale of the sustainable heat company WarmteStad. Finally, WarmteStad ensures that the heat is distributed with the right temperature to connected companies and homes in Northwest Groningen.

In the summer, more heat is produced on the solar thermal park than in the winter. The excess heat is then removed through the solar thermal park and stored in a seasonal storage facility operated by WarmteStad.

Solar Thermal Park Dorkwerd

For the municipality of Groningen, the solar thermal park is an important project in the realization of a CO2-neutral and natural gas-free city. The solar thermal park in Dorkwerd, which is being built on a former dredging depot, is 12 hectares in size and will supply sustainable heat to WarmteStad's Groningen heat network. With 24,000 solar collectors, the solar thermal park will provide some 2,600 companies and households in Groningen with sustainable heat.

Moreover, the solar thermal park has been fitted into the landscape as well as possible. Vivian van de Kamp of K3: "At this location we wanted to provide a place for sustainable energy and at the same time improve the ecology. An ecological development and management plan was drawn up for the entire 22-hectare dredging depot. Of this, 10 hectares will be completely laid out as a nature reserve."

The park is expected to be connected and supply heat to the Groningen heat grid by the end of 2023.

About us

Novar is improving the world with renewable energy. Our activities include the deployment of battery technology, hydrogen production, heat storage, private distribution networks and smart grids. We currently have over 600 projects underway, ranging from solar parks and rooftops to complete green energy systems in which components and supply and demand balancing come together smartly. The ultimate goal is to achieve 4 Gigawatts (the equivalent of the consumption of one million households) of renewable energy by 2030.

About TVP Solar

TVP Solar is a Swiss high-tech company offering the carbon-free solution to one of the world's most pressing energy challenges: decarbonizing large-scale heat consumption. TVP designs, develops, manufactures and markets innovative high-vacuum thermal solar collectors based on patented technologies. TVP installations are installed in 9 countries and 3 continents, providing carbon-free renewable heat, the lowest-cost thermal energy that reduces operating costs and CO2 emissions while securing energy supply.

About K3

K3 specializes in area development with an eye for nature and landscape. This includes the landscaping of renewable energy initiatives. The K3 organization consists of five subsidiaries which, each with its own specialty, contribute to landscapes for the future. Subsidiary Grondbank GMG constructed the Dorkwerd land depot, on which the solar thermal park is now being built.

About Heat City

WarmteStad is the utility company of the municipality of Groningen and Waterbedrijf Groningen. The public heat company delivers and develops sustainable heat for and with Groningen residents for a CO2-neutral city. In the future, WarmteStad's heat network will sustainably heat more than 12,500 households, institutions and businesses in the northwest of the city of Groningen. Various sustainable sources will be used for this purpose, including residual heat from data centers and solar thermal energy from the Dorkwerd solar thermal park.

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