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BI PV Urban Scale Project Details
Name projectNieuwland 1 MW PV project
Year1999-12-00 (Start operation date)
PV applicationFlat roof - integrated,
Inclined roof - integrated,
Façade - unknown other or mixed
PV power total kWp
LocationAmersfoort, Utrecht
Latitude/Longitude52°12'12"N 5°22'32"E

Project summary
In the Waterkwartier district in the Nieuwland expansion area of the city of Amersfoort, the worlds' largest urban PV project (1999) has been realized. The project consists of over 500 houses and several other buildings such as schools and a sport facility with PV solar modules integrated in the façade and the roofs. The total PV power is 1.3 MWp, about 12,000 m2. The solar systems are expected to produce 1000,000 kWh yearly, which is equivalent to the electricity demand of 300 houses. © Several texts by REMU (now; Eneco).

Urban scale PV aspects
The objectives of the Nieuwland 1 MegaWatt PV project are: * to illustrate the impact of using solar power at district level * to reduce costs by applying solar power on a large level * to learn about various forms of ownership and management * to acquire experience regarding (electricity) grid and architectural apects * to learn about other aspects connected to the urban scale of the project

Special PV project info
PV architecture and building integrationOver 10 architects were asked to develope parts of the new district, with only reasonable constraints with regard to the solar PV appliaction, such as on average 20 m2 must be applied; the orientation away from south must not result in more than 10-20% losses and shading must be taken into account. As many architects as many solutions for the large scale application of PV have been designed and realized.
Urban planning issuesFrom the very beginning the 'solar factor' was taken into account. The urban development of the district was structured in line with a target level of 20 m2 per household. The land was parcelled out in such a way as to render as many roof surfaces as possible suitable for the installation of solar panels, with a minimum of 500 to reach the level of 1 MWp. All designers and project developers involved were required to co-operate in the implementation of the solar power project.
Economical and financial issuesThe 1 MW-Project has been supported by Novem under the NOZ-pv program and the European Commission within the Thermie-program, contract No.: SE/178/96/NL:IT (see internet page http://europa.eu.int/search/s97.vts). The project would never have been possible without the strong financial support of the REMU (now Eneco) electricity company.
PV ownershipOne of the goals of the project was to investigate the effects of various forms of ownership and management. Therefore about half of the PV panels remained property of REMU (Eneco) for 10 years. Agreement have been made with the developers and the house-owners, such as a right of superficies (building right) for the use of the roofs. The other half of the PV systems are owned by the house-owners.
Tariffs and meteringNet-metering
Those houses where the PV systems are owned by the electricity company, will be remunerated for the use of their roofs. Twenty percent of the energy generated on their roof will be paid for at the normal domestic consumer tariff. Those houses where the PV is owner by the houseowner (~50%) will receive the normal domestic user tariff for the solar power generated and fed into the mains (net-metering).
Info on grid issuesNo major research has been carried out on grid issues yet. This is a missed opportunity, as this is a unique situation with so many despersed small energy producers in one district. On the other hand no serious problems have occurred with regards to grid issues.
Other infoThe Nieuwland 1 MW PV project is easy and interesting to be visited. In a one to two hour walk one can see 10 to 20 PV project in a area of 1 to 2 square km (about 1 square mile).
Remarks and recommended readingSee also several sub-projects. Search for "Nieuwland" in the database. Sources: Book 'Bouwen op de Zon, Building Solar Suburbs - Nieuwland Amersfoort' written by Henk Bouwmeester and Jan van IJken in 1999 at AEneas publishers, ISBN: 90-75365-19-5.

Other project data
Type of project
Other relevant aspects
Start of PV project
Start operation PV system1999-12-00
Main project leading companyEneco (formerly REMU)
Main project contact personBernard Verheijen
Contact email
Contact address+31.10.4575558
Includes PV database projects'Cascade' Nieuwland
'Jersey' Nieuwland
'Kroosbuurt' Nieuwland
'Phanta Rhei' Nieuwland
'Pitrus - Mattenbies - Rietgors' Nieuwland
Row Houses with insolated PV windows in the Nieuwland district
'School Houses' Nieuwland
'Watergentiaan - Waterdrieblad' Nieuwland
Apartments 'Gele Lis' Nieuwland

Urban district data
Kind of urban areaResidential - urban
Main building typesHouses - attached houses,
Non-residential buildings - 1 floor,
Houses - multi-story apartment building
New/Retrofit/AddedNew building integration
Main PV area address

PV systems
PV applicationFlat roof - integrated,
Inclined roof - integrated,
Façade - unknown other or mixed
PV power total urban project1300 kWp
Number of dwellings/units510
PV power per dwellings/units2.55 kWp
Main PV system typesGrid-connected - demand side,
Zero-energy building
Main PV module typesFramed - regular module,
Framed - transparent module,
Laminates - regular laminate,
Laminates - transparent laminate
Main PV cell typesCrystalline silicon - mono,
Crystalline silicon - multi
PV module brand and typeShell Solar Energy,
BP Solar,
Colt International
PV inverter brand and typeMastervolt

PV cost and energy production
Total PV system investment
Average PV modules only costs
Total PV energy yield1000000 kWh Calculated
PV energy user owner

Projects website
Other websites
Webpage Educational Tool

1. 1MegaWattNieuwland.pdf (language: English)
2. Nieuwland.pdf (language: English)

(PV) architecture, (PV) urban planning