08 June 2021

Solar park in Svendborg will protect groundwater

Better Energy is establishing a new solar park on an area of special groundwater interests east of Svendborg. This new park will not only produce green electricity but also protect the health of groundwater, as the site will be kept free from fertilisers and pesticides.

As Better Energy gradually builds more solar parks, the company is increasing its focus on how the land areas can contribute to more than just a green electricity output.

“If we are to have a reasonable chance of reaching our climate goals for 2025, then we must continue the expansion of solar parks. If we can place solar parks on groundwater protection areas, then we create valuable synergies,” Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær, CEO of Better Energy explains. He points out that Svendborg Municipality has led the way by great example with their planning efforts, where they have emphasised the importance of solar parks protecting the groundwater.

In the local plan, Svendborg Municipality points out that the transition from intensively cultivated agricultural land to a solar park site will benefit the groundwater: “Solar parks protect the health of groundwater, as the areas are taken out of agricultural production, laid out with grass and kept free from fertilisers and pesticides.”

“The solar park will increase local green energy production, but at the same time it has been important to us that this increase in production happens in a way that protects groundwater and improves environmental quality,” explains Bruno Hansen, chairman of the Environment and Nature Committee in Svendborg Municipality, and says: “Protecting groundwater is likely to be a focal point for future projects as well.”

Pesticides in three out of four groundwater samples

According to the Danish Society for Nature Conservation there is cause for concern about the quality of our groundwater. A mass screening in Denmark in 2018 found pesticides in 62.8 percent of groundwater well tests. Just a year later, that figure rose to 77.2 percent.

“One of the really special things about Denmark is our access to clean drinking water. This is something we share and need to protect. We must be better at protecting our groundwater and solar parks can help with this,” says Rasmus Lildholdt Kjær, CEO of Better Energy.

The solar park east of Svendborg is expected to be operational in 2021 and will produce an estimated 36,000 MW, the equivalent of the energy consumption of roughly 9,000 households in Denmark.