Rijkswaterstaat is the executive body of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment. It protects the Netherlands against flooding, ensures clean and plentiful water supplies and works on smooth and safe transport flows on Dutch highways and waterways. The development of sustainable solutions is key in this. Rijkswaterstaat works together with e.g. municipalities, social partners, companies and knowledge institutes on this.
The Solar Highways project was initiated and commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat, which is also responsible for its coordination, the tendering process on the market and communications on the project.
The Energy research Centre of the Netherlands (ECN) is the largest energy research institute in the Netherlands. With around 500 employees, ECN is actively involved in projects both in the Netherlands and abroad, in conjunction with industry, governments and other research institutes. This is done from its locations in Petten, Amsterdam, Eindhoven and Malaysia. One of ECN’s core activities is solar energy. Together with manufacturers of solar panels, manufacturing equipment and materials, ECN ensures that the latest scientific insights are applied in usable concepts for solar cells, modules and processes. The challenge is to make solar energy cheaper and therefore more widely applicable.
As a partner in Solar Highways, ECN is developing a prototype for the noise barrier and providing the technical input for the tendering process. ECN will also monitor the energy generated by the barrier.
The Solar Energy Application Centre (SEAC) is an independent knowledge institute, founded in 2012 at the initiative of ECN, TNO and Holland Solar. SEAC conducts research into solar energy systems and applications, including photovoltaic (PV) and solar heat systems. The technical expertise of SEAC focuses mainly on three research areas: benchmarking, outdoor field testing and techno-financial modelling of solar energy systems and applications. SEAC’s work is reinforced by strategic alliances with other R&D institutes, such as ECN, TNO, Utrecht University and TU Eindhoven.
SEAC will chart developments on the market for the Solar Highways project. It will also calculate the cost and yield and provide input for the tender strategy.