• Moulins Saint-Roch wind farm constructed in the Péruwelz-Beloeil district, alongside E42 motorway and near future Polaris business park
  • Four turbines will generate 21 GWh/year of green electricity (equivalent to demand of 6 850 households) and reduce CO2 emissions into atmosphere by 10 500 tonnes
  • Fully public project promoted by IPALLE and IDETA and financed under European Investment Bank’s Smart Cities programme

The inauguration of the Moulins Saint-Roch wind farm consisting of four 2 MW turbines with a total capacity of 21 GWh of green electricity per year, i.e. the equivalent of the demand of 6 850 households, took place on Thursday 7 June 2018. The wind farm, which will reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by 10 500 tonnes, is located in the municipalities of Péruwelz and Beloeil, close to the future Polaris business park, alongside the E42 motorway. The project is being financed by Belfius and the EIB under their Smart Cities, Climate Action & Circular Economy programme.

The fruit of a partnership between the intermunicipal environmental management agency IPALLE and the regional development agency IDETA, the new Moulins Saint-Roch wind farm in the Wallonie Picarde region covers the electricity requirements of no less than 6 580 households. Thanks to the four Senvion MM100-type wind turbines installed parallel to the route of the E42 motorway, 10 500 tonnes of CO2 will now be avoided each year, which corresponds to the emissions of 1 700 homes or 4 500 vehicles.

The construction of the wind farm was accompanied by the development of a 4-hectare nesting zone for birds as a compensatory measure, even before the start-up of the project. Work began in June 2017 and was completed by mid-December.

Favourable financing

For the implementation of this project, IPALLE and IDETA were able to use a particularly advantageous form of financing from Belfius and the European Investment Bank under their partnership aimed at supporting the development of Smart Cities in Belgium.

Following an in-depth appraisal of the dossier, the experts at the EIB and Belfius concluded that this project truly displayed a strategic, integrated and sustainable approach. The favourable terms of the EU funding made it possible to substantially reduce the interest charges on the loan, which is beneficial to both local budgets and residents.

Local authorities can play a major role in combating global warming and developing the circular economy, particularly by setting an example and thereby encouraging companies, individuals and other organisations to implement environmentally-friendly initiatives of their own. It was precisely with the intention to support them as much as possible in this initiative that Belfius and the EIB launched the Smart Cities, Climate Action & Circular Economy and Smart Cities & Sustainable Development financing programmes.

To date, more than 100 smart and sustainable projects have benefited from these programmes, about ten of which in the province of Hainaut. These include not only the Moulins Saint-Roch wind farm, which was inaugurated today, but also, for example, La Croisette in Dinant, Belgium's first organic swimming pond on the redeveloped Belvédère site in Dour, the energy-efficiency refurbishment of the Gros-Chêne municipal school in Flémalle, the new connected and low-energy CPAS rest and care home in Sambreville, the near-zero energy sheltered accommodation in Schelle, the new fire station for the South-West Limburg emergency services area, etc.

Belfius's Public & Social Banking Distribution Director for the Walloon Region Jean-Marie Bréban stated: “In the light of its historic partnership with public authorities and its role as a driver of the Belgian economy, Belfius is duty-bound to help cities and municipalities plan for the future and develop sustainable projects, thereby setting an example for citizens, businesses and other public authorities. We are also particularly pleased that this wind farm could be built thanks to the Smart Cities programme and that this favourable financing in partnership with the EIB enabled us to back the intermunicipal agencies IPALLE and IDETA in their efforts to promote local green energy, and thus to engage in targeted action on their level to reduce CO2 emissions and combat climate change.”   

EIB Director General Jean-Christophe Laloux said: “We are supporting the projects of the municipalities of the future with Belfius, our partner for Smart Cities in Belgium, and we are particularly pleased to have contributed to implementing this project, which will have a very tangible impact for everybody, by meeting the electricity requirements of more than 6 000 households and reducing the CO2 burden by the equivalent of the emissions of 1 700 homes or 4 500 vehicles. Through the EIB, the financial arm of the European Union, Europe is serving the people at the heart of its cities and regions.”