starting up our own green power production unit: 4 solar panels, March 2000
PV "van boven"

Zonnepanelen uit de ruimte - Solar panels on Earth out of space

© all photographs Google Earth except where indicated


Dutch pride of "solar times forgone":

Amersfoort's spectacular Nieuwland solar energy project
(including 1,351 MWp PV-power)

Situated on the north-east rim of Amersfoort in the east of Province Utrecht in the heart of the Netherlands

Met onderstaande kmz link wordt u direct naar Nieuwland geleid als u Google Earth op uw computer heeft staan
With the kmz link below you are immediately guided to the Nieuwland area if Google Earth is on your computer:


Small red-rimmed photographs can be clicked to show full view

Some crushing numbers for the Nieuwland project (source: link at bottom of page):

649 houses, 501 of which were fitted with solar PV modules
1.351 kWp (= 1,351 MWp) installed nominal (peak) power
estimated annual yield: 1.139.100 kWh
average electricity use (reference year 1998) 3.280 kWh/year per household
total electricity household consumption: 2.100.000 kWh/year
contribution solar electricity in total consumption: 54%

Most inverters used in the Nieuwland (sub-)projects are from Mastervolt. However, also other inverter types have been used, such as from Advanced Solar Products AG (Switzerland, "Jersey" subproject) and, for so-called "lamel-PV panels" in the "Gele Lis Waterwoningen", NKF - OK4 inverters, and SMA inverters for low-rise building project.

Nieuwland, Amersfoort - overview (Google)

Image map with hotspots:
Click on designated regions for details shown below, or scroll downwards.
The region shown above has a surface of approximately 4 km².
Motorway on top is the A1/E231 between Amsterdam and Apeldoorn.

Image map with hotspots
The "blue heart" of this fascinating, PV-filled Dutch urban region. In the left hand
corner the sports hall, on the right one of the schools with a curving solar panel
array, adjacent to child care center (center). In left center solar tile containing roofs
of the "school-houses" (280 m² PV-tiles), above huge solar PV arrays on the "Jersey" project in the
northern streets of this area.

Sports complex: >>>
409 m² of solid Shell Solar panels on roof extensions, with 50 m² solar thermal collector panels in 4th row and, at bottom right, walkway with ceiling of slanted roof of 97 m² transparent PV-modules
<<< Border school, Waterkers:
85 m², 10 kWp PV-system, property of REMU (roof building rights), can be watched by periscope by children, and energy production is monitored in school. In the upper left hand corner 82 m² PV-system of child-care centre "Plons".
Pitrus SW: >>>
Elegant PV-tiles in the central part of the SSE-facing roofs of the houses bordering one of the canals in this area. The system is integrated in the roof, e.g.: the panels act as roofing tiles.
<<< Pitrus N:
Difficult to see from space, because the huge solar PV-arrays on the south-facing roofs of this neigbourhood are oriented at a steep slope of 70 degrees (note reflection of cars in left half of the array). 119 houses with 2.832 m² of PV, yearly output app. 215.000 kWh. CLICK HERE for another detail in the area, and CLICK HERE for photograph made in 2004 on the ground by the webmaster.
Waterscheerling: >>>
Small portion of the "Jersey" project, consisting of 99 houses with "full-roof" PV-systems with a total surface area of 3.480 m² and an estimated yearly output of 261.000 kWh AC.
<<<Waterlelie passages:
Beautiful transparent PV laminates fill the "gap" between the linear PV arrays on both sides of the small street. "Panta Rhei" subproject, with 766 m² standard Shell Solar modules and 94 m² semi-transparent modules spanning a gap of around 12 meters. Note the shading by these modules on the street!
Waterdrieblad west: >>>
Small portion of the huge Watergentiaan-Waterdrieblad project, 755 m² of BP Solar modules installed on plastic consoles on the flat roofs.
<<<Waterdrieblad east, detail:
Groups of 4 rows on the south side, and 2 rows of 12 modules on the north side of the flat roofs. Each group serves 2 houses below the roof; each house receives the production of app. 24 m² of solar modules through a separate kWh meter.

Waterdreef: >>>
Situated on the north rim of previous subproject, along a broad avenue: "Cascade"subproject, 32 houses with 4 meter high attics containing 30 m² PV lean-to roofs with 20 degree south slope. BP solar modules, totalling 672 m²/yearly output of 77.000 kWh.

<<<Project "Kroosbuurt":
Again, a huge subproject with 125 houses and 2.462 m² of solar modules supplied turnkey by Ecotec Systems BV (Rotterdam), on plastic consoles on flat roofs of two different altitudes and thus not visible from ground level. Yield per year estimated at 185.000 kWh
Detail Sterrenkroos: >>>
Small portion of "Kroosbuurt" subproject. Note the filled-up flat roofs at two different altitude levels (left is higher than right portion).
<<<"Energiebalanswoningen" Nieuwlandseweg:
"Zero energy houses" (2 under one roof) show in practice the 3 major solar energy applications: passive solar, active thermal solar, and photovoltaic solar energy with majority of standard solar modules, and semitransparent modules as well.
De Oude Grutmolen: >>>
Individual houses or (most) two-under-one-cap with 27-33 solar modules on roof owned by REMU (utility company). Total 55 kWp, 576 m² Shell Solar modules, 48.000 kWh.
<<<De Rode Leeuw:
Block of 6 houses with app. 48 solar PV-modules and, on top of the roof, two "landscape"-oriented solar thermal modules. Other data unavailable.
Vergulde Paarden NE: >>>
Rent-housing of SCW cooperation Amersfoort, partially outfitted with Shell Solar PV-modules (22,5 m²/house) and 2 Luigjes (Barneveld) solar thermal collectors (5,6 m²/house) on top of the roof. Total PV area 1.107 m², 110 kWp, yield 82.500 kWh/year.
<<<Vergulde Paarden W:
Detail of other part of the social housing project with solar PV modules and with 2 solar thermal collectors per house.
Heelkruid: >>>
Beautiful circular housing project, probably belonging to the HBG Vastgoed initiative in which 370 houses already provided with a double solar thermal collector received one PV-panel as a result of the PV-program carried out in these premises by the SCW cooperation. The silvery "inner circle" apparently is a metal roof construction. 370 m².
<<<Heelkruid detail:
5 houses of the "circle" depicted above with each a double solar thermal collector ("portrait") and, on the right-hand side, a "landscape" solar PV module providing, on average 3% of the yearly electricity consumption. Inverter type for these "AC-modules" is not known.
Zeelt (W. part of Nieuwland): >>>
Collective solar thermal collectors for hot water production from sunlight on flats. One of many "spin-offs" of the succes story of Nieuwland's pioneering solar energy building program in the final years of the 20th century.
<<<Willem Verbeekerf:
But also: increasingly, people themselves take their energy fate in their own hands, start to purchase, e.g., solar PV-panels, and install them on their own roofs to offset their rapidly rising energy bills and to fulfill their own obligations under the Kyoto protocol...



Henk Bouwmeester & Jan van IJken (1999). Bouwen op de Zon. Nieuwland, Amersfoort. Eindeloze energie in een duurzame wijk/Building Solar Suburbs. Renewable energy in a sustainable city. - 96 pp., ill. Dutch and full English translation. Æneas, Best.

Excellent reading, richly illustrated. Try the publisher if it is still in stock:


Back to main Google Earth photopage (other PV-projects)


© 2006 Peter J. Segaar/Polder PV subsite, Leiden (NL)
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