The municipality of Oude IJsselstreek in the province of Gelderland has asked Over Morgen to help create an instrument for the evaluation of the incoming requests for solar farms and wind turbines. It should be an invitation to tender for project initiators in Oude IJsselstreek to implement large-scale renewable energy generation, which at the same time provides clarity to residents of the municipality on what can be expected.
In cooperation with different local parties and interest groups, we have created a tender framework which has been approved by the council. It indicates all viable options in the different locations, how residents and end users in the region can take part in the development process and all possibilities for financial participation.
Our expertise lies in creating a framework that:
- is easy to use;
- fits well with existing projects;
- helps in making clear choices;
- comprises an evaluation phase, during which all learning points discovered in the practical adaptation are taken into consideration and then used to draft a new version.
In this tender framework, environment and participation are paramount. For this particular municipality, we have also shaped the municipal process, so that they could immediately get started.
We create the tender frameworks together with our project partners in the area, landscape architects and specialists of the relevant municipality in the field of nature, recreation, spatial planning, sustainability, agricultural development and land use. Together, we assess the value of different locations and the identity of the area. Afterwards, we prepare a map that indicates the areas that are suitable for the construction of solar and wind farms. How? This is determined by the landscape requirements, such as the choice between fences or hedges around the areas and multiple area use: water storage, improving biodiversity, livestock or parking.
Participation and communication also have requirements. This has to do with how initiators involve residents in the development process and how the environment will benefit financially from the project. All substantive criteria have been incorporated into a checklist with which the municipality can easily and quickly see whether an initiative is qualitatively good enough to request a permit. For solar energy, Oude IJsselstreek has decided to tender the desired amount in two parts. This ensures a gradual development of solar parks and gives the possibility to evaluate the tender framework and assess whether the farms actually meet the desired quality standards and if the projects are implemented.
In the meantime, we have presented the results to the municipal executive board for the administrative quality assurance and to the council acting as representative of the residents. Besides the practical, applicable framework, this process has also delivered a great story which we share with residents and users of the area. Eventual additions and suggestions for improvements are recorded and then integrated into a new version.
Clarity and respect
Over Morgen explicitly takes the role of cooperating partner in this process. The municipality owns the tender framework and is building substantive knowledge as well as process knowledge. Over Morgen is already in possession of this knowledge and ready to share it, to enable the municipality to shape its own energy transition. The tender framework provides clarity to residents, project initiators and the municipality itself. It is a wonderful tool to integrate sustainable solutions in the landscape, with respect for its people and nature.