Trio Investment Leaves Solar Farm Development Behind: 'No Solar Power System Without a Battery'
The 2022 round of the SDE++ in the solar PV category was dominated by Trio Investment. It received 161.5 megawatt peak of projects, including 53 megawatt peak in the onshore solar category.
However, founder Burak Kartal sees investing in Dutch solar farms, and focusing on solar panels alone, as a dead end. 'The future belongs to rooftop solar, integrated energy systems and perhaps hydrogen.'
Kartal founded Trio Investment in 2016. He did not do so without experience. As a consultant at the World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and a renewable energy investor, he had been involved in rolling out 475 megawatt peak solar panel and 77 megawatt wind projects in Turkey and Western Europe in the years before. With Trio Investment, 2 German pension funds as major investment partners, he realized his first solar power project in 2018. Since then, the company quickly grew to the 43 employees it has today and a top player in the corporate Dutch solar market.
Underpinning and shaping
'Things can go incredibly fast in our sector,' Kartal said. 'But distinctiveness is key to success. We have the necessary expertise in investment and financing power. However, projects are becoming more complex. Return on investment is key. But so is multifunctionality; adding value in areas other than generating solar power. We do that with the help of our own engineering and landscape architecture team, among other things. But we also work closely with knowledge institutes in the substantiation and design of projects, such as the one for Delta Farms in Kats on Noord-Beveland.'
Life cycle and health
The solar system for Zeeland's Delta Farms, although classified as ground-based, was actually the largest solar roof awarded in the 2022 SDE++ round. It involves a solar canopy of 29.8 megawatt peak above the basins in which worms are grown. Such an installation affects the life cycle of the worms. Trio Investments investigated these together with TNO and Wageningen University & Research, and designed an installation that promoted the health and production of the worms by, among other things, shielding them from heat and optimal temperature control. With the combination of air-water heat pumps fed by solar panels, worm production will most likely triple through even more sophisticated control of the worms' climate.
Kartal: "Another such collaboration, in this case with several consultants, for example, involves the development and demonstration of an agri-pv installation for a dairy farm in West Friesland. Combining pastures where cows can graze under a canopy of solar panels is promising, you can combine 2 earning models and use land twice. But you have to consider many factors - such as safety, the desired space for cows, their behavior, heat development and water management - to arrive at the right balance, a profitable solar panel installation and optimal milk production. For this location, LTO prepared a report for us regarding the design. Normally they are not in favor of solar panels on agricultural land, but in this case they were very positive.'
Read the full article by Solar Magazine here.