By Anders Lorenzen
Wind power is still dominant in Denmark, but solar power is beginning to catch up.
15 kilometres outside Holsterbro on the Jutland peninsula in Denmark, a solar farm has begun construction and is set to be the largest non- subsidised solar farm Northern Europe. When completed, it will have a max capacity of 206 megawatts (MW) which in turn will be able to supply green energy to 50,000 Danish households.
High demand for green energy
The project is being developed and operated by Better Energy however is owned by Heartland – a subsidiary of the fashion mongulate Bestseller which owns brands such as Jack & Jones, Only, Vero Moda, Vila and Name It. As there is a big appetite for green energy in the region approximately half of its energy has already been sold to Bestseller and Danish companies Normal and nemlig.com will also purchase power from the plant.
Doubling up as a biodiversity project
The plant is being built on conventionally cultivated agricultural land which is being converted into organic farmland. Better Energy CEO Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær explains: “During construction, permanent grass and herb vegetation cover in the form of organic clover grass will be established, sections of the undeveloped areas will be sown with flower seeds and pesticides will no longer be used on the land area”. He added that this means that pesticides and herbicides will no longer be washed into the area’s streams and groundwater during periods of heavy rain. Kjær continued: “This is a good example of how renewable energy development, nature and biodiversity can go hand in hand”.
The connection between reducing emissions and protecting biodiversity was one of the key reasons Holstebro Municipality approved the project in February 2020
The project will be the first in Denmark to be directly connected to the national grid transmission network, Energinet. Poul Oslo Rasmussen, operations engineer in Energinet’s department for Electrical System Operations added: ”A new, major step is being taken in Denmark‘s green transition. On a basic level, it is a power plant that runs on solar. Technically and electrically, a solar PV plant performs much differently than a traditional power plant.”
Better Energy anticipates that the plant will start producing green energy during summer 2021.
After the solar plant has been established, the area will serve as a long-term haven, providing wildlife with an expansive habitat with minimal human disturbance.