Various governments, knowledge institutions and system builders together, under the leadership of research institute TNO and the Foundation for Applied Water Research (STOWA), are starting a three-year trial with systems in which solar panels are placed in dikes. The test will take place on the inner dike of the Spuikom near Ritthem.
The main aim of the test is to investigate whether systems with solar panels in dikes are possible without affecting the safety of the water and the dike. The experts also investigate which panels fit best in the landscape and the support base in the area is examined.
In addition to the safety of the dikes and water, the researchers also take landscape, cultural-historical and ecological values into account. “In our opinion, these values also count if an appeal is made to one of our dikes in the future,” says Gert van Kralingen of the Scheldestromen water board.
After construction, the researchers regularly inspect the dike, for example using sensors that continuously monitor the progress of the test. TNO measures the energy performance of the various systems.
Effect of solar panels on turf
The turf is an important part of the proper functioning of the dike. Wageningen University & Research monitors the effects of the solar panels on the turf and, together with research agency Deltares, examines the consequences of this for water safety. If there is reason to do so, the water board can intervene and stop the trial.
When the test is finished, the dike will be restored to its former state, the water board says. The cooperating parties then advise whether additional research is necessary. The results of the research in Ritthem will be included in the Regional Energy Strategy.