In Conversation with Project Manager Christian Holdert

Imagine you live in the cozy city of Breda and decide on a whim to drive to Antwerp, just an hour away, to enjoy an authentic Belgian waffle. On your way there, you pass the BCT business park, and thus you decide to bring along a Breda colleague who needs to go to the office. On the way back, you pick her up again with a waffle for the car ride. A minor detour of five minutes and voilà, you have carpooled: efficient and enjoyable.

This concept of "sharing together" can also be applied underground, and is referred to as cable pooling. The network of electricity cables is becoming increasingly congested in many places in the Netherlands, causing new applications for a connection or expansion on the network to take longer or be temporarily denied. To handle this intelligently, cable pooling can be an option.

For example, the floating solar panels at Business Centre Treeport (BCT) needed network capacity to offload their generated energy. Instead of creating a completely new connection, these solar panels could use the existing infrastructure of the wind turbines on the same site. The turbines have a fixed transport capacity but do not always use the full capacity, thus leaving room for an extra cable that connects the solar panels to the existing purchasing station (the power house).

The Floating Solar Panels at BCT

Through such collaborations and sharing of existing cable infrastructure, park operators can achieve significant time savings and potential savings in cabling and installation. Cable pooling not only contributes to efficient network usage but also enhances the economic viability of sustainable energy projects.

Christian Holdert, project manager at Green Trust, assisted BCT in realizing this connection, for example, by organizing the connection contracts and an energy management system that ensures the maximum transport capacity is not exceeded. "In practice, the wind and solar parks will not often operate at peak power simultaneously, but the network operator had no additional capacity available, so we scale back the solar park in the exceptional case that too much power threatens to enter the network," Christian explains with a smile. "We also placed a new transformer in cooperation with the partners and contractors. The wind turbines operate at a much higher voltage level than the solar park, and with the transformer, we were able to make the connection possible. Most projects are all a bit different, which makes cable pooling a very fun puzzle to solve. It's really a congestion management solution, and we are helping to alleviate the current overload of the network. How great is that?".

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