A start is being made to set up a test centre in Den Oever, in order to test self-sustainable energy-networks, otherwise known as Off Grid Energy Systems. These systems are capable of meeting the demand for electricity by using sustainable energy sources from the local environment, without a connection to the national energy grid. The goal is to develop an autonomous, sustainable and affordable alternative, and to offer it to current energy-systems for areas and islands that do not have or want a connection to the grid and mostly run on diesel powered generators. The test centre is being realized by the consortium 130Renewables (recently renamed to Mpower).

What is it?
Off Grid Test Centre (OGTC)
The Off Grid Test Centre is a research location where joined research is being executed, and where multiple systems are being tested. Four renewable energy-technologies, wind, solar, water and energy storage form the sources with which the OGTC can test and research different scenarios. The OGTC combines these sources into sustainable and reliable systems for clients. The goal is to develop independently working and affordable alternatives for multiple scenarios, like islands and remote areas (worldwide, but also in Texel and the Monument on the Afsluitdijk).

The system
The Off Grid Test Centre consists of several different components that, when combined, form a sustainable energy-system, these components 
1. Three water turbines that have recently been placed in the Afsluitdijk tidal barrage
2. One wind turbine with a capacity of 50 kW
3. One solar panel field with a capacity of about 100 kW
4. Storage system for storage of generated electricity
5. One (bio)diesel generator that functions as a backup

The energy producers are connected to a battery pack with regulating equipment. This electricity storage is then connected to the public grid through a transformer. The regulating equipment is housed in control room. The different components are also connected through data- and electricity cables. The connection between the tur-bines of Tocardo and Den Oever is used to exchange electricity with the National grid.
The location in Den Oever is used for research, but also functions as an international statement of the expertise of the involved parties.


Why is it there?
Seeing is believing. Showing working off grid energy systems is the best strategy. That is why Mpower wants to set up an Off Grid Test Centre in the top of North-Holland.
An Off Grid Test Centre provides for three important demands.

1. The Market demand, the growing energy demand
Worldwide, there are vast remote areas with a weak and/or expensive
electricity generator run on fossil fuels, both on the mainland and (remote) islands.
In these areas, there are several problems like:
• Limited certainty of delivery
• Limited grid capacity
• Expensive system with high variable costs for fossil fuels
• Huge fluctuations in the variable costs because of changing (fossil) fuel prices
• Contaminating system through the use of combustion motors

2. Changing the demand from fossil to renewable

The usage of fossil fuels for electricity generation is finite, expensive and contaminat-ing. Filling the growing demand for energy with renewable sources like, solar, wind and water is not so much an option as it is a necessity. The OGTC will test these sources and make them ready for the market, in several different setups.

3. Stable, reliable and affordable renewable energy sources.
Generating renewable energy with the sun, wind and water varies a lot more than the stable generation of fossil fuels. 
The renewable energy generating is less predictable, and has other characteristics. The OGTC shows that the high-tech and proven systems are stable, reliable and af-fordable in varying setups, when combined with regulating equipment.

Export product
There is a big potential market for independent off grid energy systems. This market exists mostly in areas where 
• the local grid is run on fossil fuels, and is expensive.
• Weak grids can be put to better use by syncing the supply and demand
• Local communities want to realize their own – democratic – energy supply
But there is also potential in the Netherlands. In the ‘’Wadden eilanden’’ interest has already been peaked for an Off Grid Energy system.


Where is it happening?
The ‘’kazematten’’ island between the lift-lock and the scouring sluices of Den Oever is a perfect test location. This is because there are already multiple pilot projects for renewable energy, and a (temporary) Off Grid Test Centre will fit in seamlessly in the development of the Afsluitdijk as a place for researching and experimenting with innovative technologies.


MPower is the company that has come forth from 130Renewables. 
MPower is the one that took the initiative for the Off Grid Test Centre. MPower will make the systems and solutions obtained from the centre marketable.

Wind Energy Solutions
Wind Energy Solutions (WES) has become a global player in the segment of midsized wind turbines in the range of 50-250 kW.

ZON Energie
ZON Energie continues to use its ESCO formula: energy services from initiative till exploitation.

Tocardo delivers proven and reliable free current turbines that are the first ever tidal turbines to be commercially applicable.

Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord
Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Noord-Holland Noord (ONHN) is involved in the 
realisation and rollout of ‘’sustainability Waddeneilanden’’ as a facilitator. It also brings in its expertise of public-private financing, mostly in support of growth targets in the economic sector in the region of North-Holland North.

Tidal Testing Centre
Tidal Testing Centre contributes to realizing and using the Off Grid Energy Systems in two ways, both by using its network and by using its expertise on the subject of management and test sites..
De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk

What is the planning?
Phase 1: design, construction and delivery
4e quarter 2016 - 2e quarter 2017
• Designing and engineering Off Grid Test Centre
• Permits and Licences 
• Hardware realisation Off Grid Test Centre

Phase 2: Living Lab
3e quarter 2017 - 3e quarter 2021
• Research programs
o Optimisation
o Technical boundaries
o Stages and research in cooperation with InHolland en NHL Hogeschool, ECN, TNO, Alliander
• Preparations for rollout
o Afsluitdijk: Monument, Beleefcentrum
o Waddeneilanden
o Export

Phase 3: Removal
4e quarter 2021
When the research and tests have been finished, the test location near Den Oever will be removed.


In contact
Do you have questions or remarks about this project? Please, contact us:
Programbureau De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk
Tel: +31(0)58-292 5820
Email: info@denieuweafsluitdijk.nl