Producing enough energy for an entire village and also significantly lower the noise of the highway? It’s possible! The Energie Cooöperatie Oostwold (ECO) has been working on this since 2014 and the plans are now in an advanced stage.
The Zonnewal (“solar wall”) is a highway noise barrier of 1.500 meters long, with a solar panel installation of over 9.000 sqm. This will turn Oostwold (gem. Leek) into a 100% energy self-sufficient village, it will block the unhealthy particulates from vehicle emissions and reduce the noise of the busy A7 highway with 10 dB (which roughly means that the noise is reduced by half).
Apart from this, the Zonnewal will be a great addition to the Oostwold surroundings and local landscape. A walkway, bike way and bridle way for horse riding will run over and alongside the Zonnewal. The wall will be overgrown with trees and bushes and will, when seen from the village side, have the appearance of a forest instead of a wall.
This makes the Zonnewal a beautiful and unique combination of recreation, noise reduction and energy production, that totally blends in with the landscape. It will make living in Oostwold even greater.