GasTerra supports solar energy with fuel cells


Ameland has been given the green light for a large-scale sustainable energy project that has come about partly due to support from GasTerra. Ballum airfield will be the site of a solar panel farm to be constructed over an area of 10 hectares that will generate 5.8 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity per year. In addition to this, 45 fuel cells will be installed at various points across the island, capable of generating 585 Megawatt hours (MWh) per year. These fuel cells will provide stability in the electricity supply, necessary in view of the fact that the production of solar energy fluctuates due to variable weather conditions.

Gas becomes power
The fuel cells are to be connected to the gas network and will convert natural gas (or green gas) into power and a modest quantity of heat via an electrochemical process. When this (residual) heat is utilised, electricity efficiency is around 85%. This is almost double the (wall plug) efficiency of a power plant and results in a CO2 reduction of 50 to 70% in regard to centralised electricity generation. 

The press release below contains more information about this unique project.


Ameland to get the Netherlands’ biggest solar farm (2)
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 / 11:54

BALLUM (ANP) - Ameland is being given a grant of over 2.6 million euros from the Wadden Sea Fund to build the largest solar farm in the Netherlands. This was announced on Wednesday by the municipality. 700,000 euros are also being set aside for a project involving methane fuel cells.

The solar farm of around 10 hectares will be built on the west side of the airfield in Ballum and should be able to produce 6 megawatts of power every year, 20 percent of the island’s energy needs.  The solar panels will be hidden from view by dunes and bushes.

In addition to this, 45 methane fuel cell units, each with a capacity of 1.5 kWh, will be placed at the sites of municipal buildings and local businesses.  The cells will generate power by converting natural gas into electricity.
These and various other energy projects, such as adding hydrogen to natural gas and installing environmentally-friendly HEe boilers, must ultimately ensure that, by 2020, Ameland will be self-sufficient with regard to its energy requirements.

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