Can all homes in one neighbourhood be transformed into zero-carbon homes, using solar energy and home solar batteries? What does this require in terms of technology and balancing income with expenses? A consortium comprised of public- and private-sector organisations – including ICT Group, Enexis, University of Twente, Enpuls, Endona, Buurkracht, and Dr Ten, a manufacturer of sea salt batteries – is working on developing both the technology and the business case for this project.
In the Veldegge section of the town of Heeten in the Dutch province of Overijssel, a total of 48 homes are currently connected to a single transformer house. The families residing in this neighbourhood are exceptionally energyconscious: many of the homes are fitted with solar panels, and the residents have joined the Buurkracht initiative, through which local communities invest in solar energy together. The community initiative attracted the interest of grid operator Enexis, which regards the neighbourhood as a perfect testing ground to see what it takes to get an entire neighbourhood ‘off the grid’. Based on previous positive experiences with ICT Group and the EnergyNXT platform, Enexis asked ICT Group to join the project as a partner.
“We see this as an excellent opportunity to learn what it really takes to make an entire neighbourhood selfsufficient in terms of energy,”
– Marten van der Laan, Senior Business Consultant
The preparations started in 2017, and in December 2018 the energy exchange will start. During the preparatory phase, it was investigated how the different technologies work together. Among other things, we have looked at how the sea salt batteries of Dr Ten should be connected to the solar panels and in which of the 48 households the 20 batteries could best be placed.