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Construction of the largest solar park in West Flanders begins at Ostend-Bruges Airport

Oostende Airport

Mayor Bart Tommelein launched the construction of West Flanders’ largest solar park at Ostend-Bruges Airport, set to power 10,000 homes by spring 2026.

On 18th June Mayor Bart Tommelein symbolically launched the construction of the largest solar park in West Flanders at Ostend-Bruges Airport. This project, the second largest in the country, will be executed by the energy company EnergyVision. Over the next few months, 60,000 solar panels will be installed next to the runway, providing the airport and Ostend households with their first green energy starting in September. By spring 2026, all panels will be installed and connected, enabling 10,000 households to receive "green energy from the sea." Remarkably, Ostend residents can also earn money by investing in the project through citizen participation.

Despite a crisis year for the solar panel sector in Belgium and neighboring countries, EnergyVision is accelerating its efforts. Over the next two years, the energy company plans to install several tens of megawatts of solar panels. Nearly 37 MWp is planned for Ostend-Bruges Airport. In the coming months, EnergyVision will build the largest solar park in West Flanders, covering a total area of 303,864 square meters, or more than 60 football fields. The annual solar energy production will save approximately 10,100 tons of CO2.

“Construction of the solar park on our airport site has just begun. By spring 2026, when all the panels are installed and connected, more than 37,000 MWh of electricity will be produced annually. Initially, the generated energy will be used to power the entire airport site. Thanks to this project, the airport will operate on 100% green energy. This is an important step towards our goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050. The remaining electricity will supply 10,000 nearby households. It is crucial for us that our neighbors benefit from locally generated energy. If everything goes well, the first households can enjoy green energy starting in September. By this autumn, there will be enough operational solar panels at the airport to generate 10 MWp of power.” said Eric Dumas, CEO of Ostend-Bruges Airport.

Batteries

According to EnergyVision, the location of the new solar park is ideal. Most of the land along the runway is unusable for other purposes, and the coastal area offers the best solar insolation in the country. Higher wind speeds at the coast result in less cloud cover and more sunshine hours. The solar insolation – the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth’s surface – is about 10% higher than in Limburg, for example.

Currently, there is limited grid connection capacity available for solar parks in West Flanders, but the energy company has a solution through a smart configuration. “As long as the Ventilus project is not realized, grid connection options are limited, but we are addressing this with large, efficient batteries. With large-scale battery capacity, we can install more solar panels than the current grid connection would allow. Overproduction will be temporarily stored in the batteries. When the sun is not shining, the stored energy will be fed into the grid and distributed to customers. In other words, even when the sun is not shining, Ostend residents can still enjoy solar energy” said Maarten Michielssens, CEO of EnergyVision.

Oostende Airport

Citizen Participation

The project at the airport not only significantly increases the green energy supply in Ostend but also allows Ostend residents to earn money from it. Through stroomvantzeetje.be, households can register starting today to purchase generated electricity at fixed prices and choose to invest. “Specifically, we have launched a platform for citizen participation. This means that if an Ostend resident wants to invest in the installation, they can do so through an eight-year loan with a gross interest rate of 5% before withholding tax. With a minimum investment of 250 euros, we aim to make this opportunity accessible to as broad an audience as possible, allowing people to invest their savings consciously and sustainably. With this initiative, we hope to make cheap, green, local energy more accessible and achievable for everyone.” says Maarten Michielssens.

Taking the Lead

Ostend Mayor Bart Tommelein welcomes the project and symbolically gave the start signal for the construction of the solar park this morning. “It is no coincidence that the largest solar park in West Flanders, and also the largest in recent years in our country, is being built in Ostend. Our city has been a leader in the essential transition to sustainable energy for years. For instance, we are the offshore wind hub of the southern part of the North Sea, and the Princess Elisabeth energy island – the world’s first artificial energy island – will be built off our coast. The unique aspect of this project at the airport is that Ostend residents can directly benefit and be part of a sustainable story. To make the energy transition a success, we need to involve citizens as much as possible and give them the opportunity to contribute.” comments Bart Tommelein, Mayor of Ostend.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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