Municipality of Raalte controls large-scale wind, has yet to begin procedure

The municipal council of Raalte, in the province of Overijssel, made a decision last week about whether or not it wants to assume charge of the region’s extensive wind energy production.

Raalte collaborates in the West Overijssel RES organization. In the RES 1.0, the municipality of Raalte filed a bid of 100 GWh2 with a (indicative) distribution of 93% solar (roof and land) and 7% wind.

The province is pressuring the development of large-scale wind energy and the associated agreements to determine search/exclusion areas before 1 July 2023 and to work regionally towards a ratio of 60% wind and 40% sun because the West Overijssel region is still falling short of the target outlined in RES.1.0.

The municipality had to decide what part it wanted to play in large-scale wind energy initiatives because there were no specified search areas or local wind policies. It was resolved in a council proposal to establish search zones and potentially policies as soon as feasible, through a careful approach. On May 11, the council voted unanimously to approve the plan. With this, the Council has made the decision to exert as much control over the large-scale production of environmentally friendly onshore wind energy as feasible, keeping a say in subsequent efforts.

First not to finish

According to the process proposal for wind search areas, the procedure to identify search regions and assess whether further wind policy is required must be started now and won’t be finished until 1 July 2023, but only next year. As a result, the municipality of Raalte will be the first in the area to not finish this by 2023. This will be covered at a round table discussion. The D66 and the PvdA in particular struggle with the 1.5 year length of this process.

The municipality hereby assumes the risk that after July 1st, developers of wind projects with a capacity greater than 5 MW may request an integration plan from the province of Overijssel. The province must next respond to that request in accordance with the relevant provincial spatial frameworks, the environmental policy, and the frameworks for participation, all of which are outlined in the Provincial Program Energy Strategy. Without search areas, a municipality cannot control or influence requests for wind projects in that municipality. However, discussions about cooperating in the interim until the designation of search areas have been held with the province.

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