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The Netherlands is a signatory to the Climate Agreement, and as such it’s the job of regional and local authorities to boost the growth of the sustainable energy supply across the country. In recent years there has been some uncertainty about the objectives, the legal frameworks and the choice of locations for the construction of wind turbines and solar parks, but the Integrated Regional Energy Strategies (RES) will provide clear framework in the coming years. Lightsource BP wants to be a reliable partner not only for developers and landowners, but also for governments when it comes to installing solar farms. We develop our solar farms in close consultation with municipalities, their residents and those living in the immediate vicinity to find the best solution.

Specialists and transparent processes

With 2GW of solar under management, Lightsource BP is one of the largest developers and operators of solar energy projects in the world. We carry out the development of solar farms entirely in-house, not only the engineering and financing, but also the construction and operation – our financial specialists, planners and technical experts guide a project from A to Z.

We work with fixed processes in the development of solar farms, which means that we can start and handle projects quickly and efficiently from the first exploratory site surveys and the permit application up to and including construction and maintenance.

Lightsource BP has a lot of experience with financing and works with regular partners, and funding is often already secure for projects before development begins, which paves the way for a gradual, secure closing process. We also manage the daily maintenance internally. For construction, installation and maintenance, we like to work with local partners so that they too can benefit from the solar farm.

Our process

Our team of expert planners have extensive experience with all environmental aspects of solar farms; from the initial research phases to compliance monitoring of operational solar farms. The team goes through an extensive assessment process for each potential location, combining local knowledge and experience of the community with the specialist knowledge of our advisors. All this comes together in the Environmental Permit and associated environmental studies. The phases in this process are:

Holland Solar Guidelines

As a member of Holland Solar, the industry association for the solar energy sector in the Netherlands, Lightsource BP has actively contributed to the development of Guidelines for developers of solar farms. A number of standard process steps are laid out in the Guidelines and a fixed framework for project development, information provision and the involvement of governments and local residents is described.

Local support

Lightsource BP believes that local support for our solar farms is very important. During the entire lifespan of a solar farm, local residents are involved in the process. When a solar farm is developed, we listen to the suggestions and wishes of all stakeholders, and regularly hold information evenings, during which we discuss our plans with local residents. We enter into a dialogue where possible to hear the different opinions, and take them into account as much as possible in the development and application for permits. Even after the installation of a solar farm we maintain contact with local interest groups, as this helps us to improve and develop existing and new locations.

Local participation

Sometimes we offer opportunities for local participation in projects, because we believe that the local community should also be able to benefit from the solar farm. This can be done, for example, by issuing bonds or by setting up a sustainability fund, to support sustainable initiatives within the local community. There are various options for local or financial participation, but these do depend on factors such as the size of the solar farm, the location and the number of local residents. We’re always happy to talk to local developers and authorities about the options.

Landscape integration

One of our main prioities is thorough integration of the solar farm into the local landscape. As a result, our solar farms not only have minimal impact on the environment but often increase the ecological value of the land. The construction of our solar farms start with an exploration of the landscape, soil and environmental research to gain insight into the possibilities for responsible construction and layout of the solar farm. During construction we try to minimise any negative impact on the environment, and after construction the land restored to its original state as far as possible. Our planting plans for the site always includes local species, so that the solar farm blends in better with the surroundings and the landscape.