TenneT and Liander build sustainable onshore substation

Dutch network operators TenneT and Liander are jointly building a new, sustainable substation in Oosterhout, in the municipality of Nijmegen. Biodiversity, CO2 reduction and an energy-neutral building are central to the station.

The new joint substation will be built between Griftdijk and business park Park 15, south of the A15 motorway exit. The station is being built to meet the growing demand for electricity and the growth in sustainable energy production from wind turbines and solar panels in the Nijmegen-Noord area. The current energy infrastructure is not designed for this.

In consultation with the municipality of Nijmegen, TenneT has drawn up a plan to build the most sustainable transformer station possible here.


Biodiversity has been taken into account in the design of the substation. Local trees and bushes will be planted around the substation. Between the trees grass will be sown with herbs and flowers and a bee hotel will be placed among the vegetation. There will also be a wadi (a trench to collect water) with nature-friendly banks where amphibians can settle and birds and mammals can drink.

The station itself will also have a green appearance. Gravel will not be poured between the electricity installations (as is usually the case), but slow-growing grass will be planted instead. One of the service buildings will have a sedum roof and the other will be clad in wood.

The green measures fit in with the ambitions of the municipality of Nijmegen that wants to stimulate economic developments and sustainable energy in and around the city. At the same time, Nijmegen wants to create a linked green landscape in order to provide space for animals that are having a hard time, such as buzzard, bittern, owl, mud creeper and pool frog.

Less CO2 emissions

Measures will also be taken to make the control building energy-neutral and to minimise CO2 emissions during construction. For example, new models of excavators are being used that emit less CO2. The soil that has to be excavated is reused on the site itself.

In addition, solar panels will be installed on the grass, there will be an energy-efficient cooling system and there will be charging stations for electric cars. During the design process, attention was paid to limiting the use of raw materials, such as steel and concrete. Finally, a material passport will state which materials have been used and in what quantities. If the building is ever demolished, it is then immediately clear which materials can be reused.

As lead engineer for TenneT, Jorris Kruithof has worked with contractor Volker Energy Solutions to make the Oosterhout transformer station sustainable. Liander started construction early this year. TenneT started on 19 October. The station is expected to be completed in mid-2023. Source: TenneT

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