Belgian wildlife park hosts world’s largest wooden solar carport – pv magazine International


Belgian energy company Perpetum Energy has built a 40 MW solar carport at Pairi Daiza, a privately owned zoo and botanical garden in Hainaut, Belgium. It said the total investment reached €40 million ($43 million) investment.

From pv magazine France

Belgian energy company Perpetum Energy has built a 40 MW solar carport at Pairi Daiza, a privately owned zoo and botanical garden in Brugelette, Hainaut, Belgium.

“The solar power plant that we built in the Pairi Daiza parking lot is the largest photovoltaic carport – made of wood – in the world,” Grégoire Dewandeleer, the company’s general manager, told pv magazine.

He added that Pairi Daiza was receptive to using a 100% natural and renewable material with its partner, Préfabois, to minimize raw material losses and reduce gray energy consumption.

The carport, constructed from durable, class-4 Douglas fir, is built from logs and raw wood beams sourced in the Ardennes. The materials are certified according to passivated emitter and rear cell (PERC) standards, ensuring sustainable forest management.

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Image: Perpetum

The €40 million project spans 200,000 square meters, with 51 inverters and 93,786 solar panels from Chinese manufacturer Longi (265 Wp) for a portion of the plant and from Canadian Solar for another section.

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“To ensure the operation of the second phase of the photovoltaic shade house and cover the significant electricity needs of the park, we had to modify its imposing head cabin, Dewandeleer said. “The wiring was reinforced, the current transformers (CT) replaced by more powerful CTs and the dozens of circuit breaker cells adjusted. A challenge completed in three days!”

The operation – financed through third-party investment by the Green4Power SA fund and owned by Perpetum and Socofe – turns Pairi Daiza into a significant green energy provider. The zoo consumes a portion of the PV electricity and exports surplus power to the grid, but this surplus is expected to diminish as electric-vehicle-charging stations are installed under the shade houses.

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