A public information meeting at Erquelinnes
On February 20th, WattElse took part in the public information meeting which aimed to present a wind project in the municipality of Erquelinnes, located in the Province of Hainaut along the French border. The project is led by EE Erquelinnes, a Brussels-based company belonging to the German group ENO Energy, which relies on the local expertise of WattElse in charge of project management and development.
The project consists of 5 wind turbines along the N54 and the N40. This implementation corresponds to the guidelines of the Walloon Reggion (Code of Territorial Development-CoDT) which enables the establishment of wind farms along infrastructures.
The project presented has been defined according to the following technical requirements:
- Distance of 4 times the maximum total height of wind turbines considered compared to rural areas of habitat;
- Distance of 500m compared to isolated dwellings;
- 100m buffer zone with respect to the forest edge.
The considered wind turbines will have a maximum tip height of 180m and a power between 3 and 5 MW. In total, the site will be able to produce the equivalent of the electricity consumption of about 17,000 households and will prevent the emission of 16,000 tons of CO2 per year.
The public information meeting was moderated by Com.Une which is specialised in communication.
Since 2018, a measuring mast has been installed on the site to confirm the windy potential of the area. The results of the measurements will allow to define the most suitable machines for the site.
In terms of agenda, the environmental impact assessment has started with the holding of the public meeting. It will be carried out by the SERTIUS, engineering office, which has extensive expertise in the field. The permit application is expected to be filed in June 2020.
EE Erquelinnes is also working with local authorities to define citizen participation in the project through the implementation of a crowdfunding campaign and has contact with citizen cooperatives.
Contribution of WattElse
As part of its project management assistance mission, WattElse intervenes at different levels:
- Site identification;
- Contact with landowners;
- Contact with the municipal authorities;
- Development of financing solutions (crowdfunding, citizen participations, third investment schemes, equity investment and bank loans);
- Request for a permit for the installation of the measuring mast and follow-up of the impact study;
- Coordination of the public meeting;
- Follow-up of the realization of the environmental impact study;
- Permit submission and follow-up.
WattElse follows also communicational aspect of the project. In this context, a press conference was organised to disseminate information related to the project in the local press relays.