Under the new provincial council in Friesland, hundreds of Frisian farmers have expressed an interest in buying small wooden wind turbines manufactured across the provincial border in Groningen.
Translation by Traci White
E.A.Z. Wind, a manufacturer in Hoogezand in Groningen, tells the Leeuwarder Courant that the company has received 200 orders from Friesland in recent months. Albert Jan van der Wal, head of commerce for E.A.Z. Wind, says that dairy farmers in particular have expressed a lot of interest in the turbines – FrieslandCampina is apparently encouraging its members to buy them – as have other farmers and energy cooperatives.
The secret behind the sudden boom in interest in the 15-meter-tall turbines the installation of a new provincial council: the former government blocked the turbines in the province, but the newly installed council has approved of purchasing them, albeit with some limitations. The wind turbines can only be set up on agricultural land, must be used for the farmer’s own energy needs and can only be sold three at a time to the same buyer.
E.A.Z. Wind’s wooden, green wind turbines have been popping up across Groningen over the past year: in the province, they are co-owned by a number of local property owners who receive a discount on their electricity bill for the purchase. The turbines are capable of generating 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year on average.
According to the Leeuwarder Courant, the company has sold 270 turbines thus far, the majority of which – 230 – have been sold in Groningen. Several have gone to other Dutch provinces, and a handful have been sold across the national borders to Germany and Belgium.