Managing the
solar park

The energy transition is a hot topic in the maritime and logistics industries. In order to reduce emissions from fossil fuels worldwide, an increasing amount of our energy will need to come from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Consultant Erik Noot contributes to this transition as Logistics Manager in the realisation of solar park Aadijk Almelo in the eastern Netherlands. We spoke to him about the project and his role.

Over 120,000 solar panels are being installed in an area of close to 40 hectares, roughly the size of 6.5 football fields. The solar panels can collectively produce up to 40 MWp—enough to meet the energy needs of 10,000 households. The plan is to have the full park realised and in use by the end of 2019. Companies and employees from all over the world are involved in building the enormous park, with Erik acting on behalf of constructor Bejulo. As Interim Logistics Manager, he is responsible for coordinating all logistical processes during the project and managing the solar park’s supply chain.

Supply chain management is a complex process and it’s no different for this project. Limited space and warehousing capabilities led to a need for a solid just-in-time system. Erik clarifies: “The order in which supplies were delivered, for example, was a major point of attention, because we simply didn’t have the space to have inventory that couldn’t be used yet sitting around.” Even though the project is progressing fast, within a relatively short timeframe, Erik managed to make improvements to the supply chain.

Coordinating and communicating with all types of suppliers is vital for the success of this project. In order to prevent major delays in the building of the solar park, disturbances in the supply chain need to be resolved quickly. To tackle the complexity of the project, Erik draws from his solid 20 years of experience in the areas of operations, logistics improvement projects, warehousing, green logistics and asset utilisation.

“At the end of every day, you return home with a healthy fatigue.”

Erik is satisfied with the assignment. “It’s incredibly pleasant work… Especially compared to some of my previous assignments where I would be in the office for most of the time. In Almelo, 80% of my time is spent outside.” Erik particularly enjoys the close contact with people from different organisational layers and different countries in the world. While the work is enjoyable, it’s absolutely not a “lazy man’s job”, as Erik puts it. “Make no mistake, work days of 12, 13 hours are not an exception.” Working at a construction site has been a new experience for Erik, but he wouldn’t hesitate to take on similar projects in the future. “At the end of every day, you return home with a healthy fatigue.”

While the project requires a lot of commitment and hard work, fortunately no major interventions from Venturn have been needed so far to support Erik during the project. On his experience with Venturn, Erik shares: “I think Venturn established an excellent match, not only for Bejulo but for myself as well.”

To view the progress, have a look at Erik’s gallery below. For a further impression of the project, check out this video by Tubantia!

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