At HAK, we're always working towards a future that is more plant-based, sustainable and local. This is a philosophy that has been rooted in our company since its establishment in 1952.
HAK’s solar power plant is a major step in their sustainability strategy. It’s also not an obvious one. The site is located in an area where the electricity grid is often overloaded and congested, and yet in spite of this, HAK and Groendus were game for the task. Rabobank provided the financing for this pioneering project.
Grid congestion means that there isn’t enough capacity on the electricity grid to feed back electricity that households or organisations do not use themselves. Overloading is a problem for both the supply and feed-in of electricity. If there is surplus electricity from the completed solar plant due to feed-in issues, revenue will be lost. This income is often essential in achieving a positive return on investment. It is for this reason that projects in congested areas are often cancelled or postponed until capacity on the grid is increased. Grid congestion at Giessen in North Brabant is not expected to be resolved for another three to five years.
Both HAK and Groendus are used to dealing with challenges, so the location of this site was not enough to throw them off track. The solution they came up with meant spreading the project risks across both companies. Groendus took care of the investment for the solar plant, while HAK paid a monthly lease fee for this, reimbursing no less than 80% of the solar power generated. This allowed Groendus to develop and finance the project.
HAK is a brilliant example of an organisation pressing ahead with sustainability goals despite major challenges standing in their way. “At HAK, we're always working towards a future that is more plant-based, sustainable and local. This is a philosophy that has been rooted in our company since its establishment in 1952. We have committed to these sustainable ambitions in our Social Impact Report. As well as making cultivation more sustainable, making our production site more sustainable is an important aspect of our ambition. When we found out we couldn't feed in because of grid congestion in our area, we didn’t want to simply end the project. We pushed through with Groendus’ help so that the project was still a success.” says Maikel Jongenelis, CFO at HAK.
Marc van Putte, Commercial Director at Groendus: "HAK is already a wonderful and sustainable organisation right through to the core. This solar power plant demonstrates that HAK is willing to take risks to proceed on their green mission. In doing so, Rabobank is keen to support sustainable investments. We are energised by these kinds of partnerships and innovative projects, particularly when they are complex. With our comprehensive approach, we have everything we need to find the best solutions."