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A new use for a former sand mining pond

Projects Solar farm sand extraction A6 - Eesterga

This solar farm will be located on a former sand mining lake along the A6. With current plans, the farm will provide power for about 5,000 households.

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25.000Solar panels
15 MWpPeak annual power
5.000Households provided

Sand extraction A6 - Eesterga

This project involves a floating solar farm on the former sand mining lake along the A6 near Eesterga. The lake is about 12 hectares in size, where Novar expects to generate about 15 MWp for about 5,000 households under current plans.

The lake owner has been contacted before the summer of 2019. Currently, the lake is used for carp fishing. It was discussed with the municipality to first conduct an ecological study on the effect on the natural values present. To improve the natural values, an investment was made in the design to strengthen the banks along this deep lake in particular. Therefore, the design expands the island on the north side with reeds and willow buds. This design is also part of the discussions with the immediate neighbors.

Our process

Where are we now?










In use

The permit application has been submitted to the municipality of De Fryske Marren and is currently being processed there.

About the solar farm

This project involves a park of floating solar panels on the former sand mining pass along the A6 near Eesterga. The lake is about 12 hectares in size, where Novar expects to generate about 15 MW for about 5,000 households.

Currently, the former sand mining lake is used commercially for carp fishing. Before the summer of 2019, contact was established between the lake owner and Novar. Here it was agreed to explore the development of a floating solar farm. It was subsequently discussed with the municipality to first have an ecological study carried out and to map the effect on the natural values present.


The ecological study and a number of follow-up studies concluded, among other things, that the natural value of this deep pond is located primarily directly along the shore and around the existing island in the pond.

In the design, therefore, a so-called "respect zone" of 20 meters has been chosen. This means that the solar panels will be placed at least 20 meters from the bank. In addition, lee and bank planting will be encouraged with the installation of shoreline protection and spawning areas will be created. Planting of branch woods and otter burrows and installation of insect hotels will also be undertaken, among other things.

In addition, unlike the current situation, the pond will be publicly accessible for recreational use. We are doing this at the request of the environment. For example, there will be a walking path with benches and an information point.


The arrival of a solar farm has an impact on the surrounding area. This is also the case in Eesterga. During several talks and meetings, the surrounding area was consulted. This has shown that the arrival of a solar park raises many questions and reactions. Attached you will find an overview with a response to frequently asked questions.

Novar chose to appoint an external environmental manager for this project and have the environmental process overseen. There were also several discussions with direct neighbors and meetings organized with residents of Eesterga, Follega and other interested parties. This has led to a participation plan which has been approved by the municipality of De Fryske Marren. Consultations have also taken place with the Foundation for conservation of the Eesterga natural lake and landscape management Friesland.

For the realization of local ownership or financial participation, unfortunately no other party has been found willing to enter into discussions and make agreements on this. In the coming period, Novar will therefore be holding talks with the municipality of De Fryske Marren in order to realize local ownership and thus allow the surrounding area to benefit financially from the arrival of the solar farm.


Municipality De Fryske Marren, like every municipality in the Netherlands, has ambitions to become more sustainable. These ambitions are part of the Regional Energy Strategy. The generation of large-scale solar energy is an important part of these ambitions. 

To arrive at good locations for large-scale solar energy generation, governments use the solar ladder. Generating solar energy on roofs is qualified as the most interesting option within the solar ladder. Novar endorses the ambition to use as many roofs as possible in the Netherlands to generate solar energy.  

The former sand mining lake in Eesterga is on the second rung of the municipal solar ladder and has thus been identified as an interesting location for large-scale solar energy generation. Finally, we are convinced that by strengthening the existing ecological values we can realize a good fulfillment of the idea of double use of space. 


Landscape design Eesterga

Eesterga landscape plan

Visualizations Eesterga

Monitoring Program

FAQ Solar farm Sand extraction A6 - Eesterga

Last edited February 14, 2024

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