MIJNWATER B.V. WISHES YOU AN ENERGIZING CHRISTMAS
We publish Mijnwater News to keep you up to date on the highlights at Mijnwater B.V, our work in the field, innovations in minewater technology, the findings of the Interreg partners, and to share the responses we get from throughout the region with you. We also hear the opinions of the people who live in the region: What do they think about minewater energy? What do young graduates and students think a future without natural gas will look like? Mijnwater B.V. is helping to achieve an energy-neutral Parkstad Limburg in 2040. We share news about our organization or the organizations we cooperate with or support through our website and social media on an almost daily basis.
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The Mijnwater B.V. team would like to wish you an energizing Christmas and a warm and cosy 2019!
In this issue:
1. Mijnwater B.V. acquired by LEF
2. JetNet Careerday on 23 October 2018
3. A cosy oasis in the heart of Heerlen
(Maurice Kerens, a resident of the Maankwartier district in Heerlen)
4. Mijnwater and the Brunssum-Noord pilot project
5. Brunssum Stadsjournaal: How does minewater actually work?
6. Renovation of the Corridor/Sevagram apartment building
7. Mijnwater lead partner in Interreg NWE grant project (press release)
8. Work in progress
9. Mijnwater at trade shows and symposia
10. SmartCity Alliance visits Heerlen
11. Merry Christmas and an energizing and sustainable 2019
Mijnwater B.V. acquired by Limburg Energiefonds (LEF)
On 26 September 2018, all shares in Mijnwater were officially transferred from the Municipality of Heerlen to Limburg Energiefonds (LEF). The transfer of all shares also marks the end of the pioneer phase. Charles Claessens, chairman of the executive committee responsible for sustainability, had this to say: ‘The city has taken on a risk by investing in technological development. The challenge now is to actually invest and innovate, to make the knowledge gained accessible to the general public. Our commitment to working together has paid off.’
Read more about the transfer in the press release
Pictured: Philip Tan, director of LEF (holding the gift), councillor Charles Claessens of the Municipality of Heerlen (centre) and Ger Koopmans, Commissioner of the Province of Limburg (on the right).
JetNet Careerday 23 oktober
On 23 October, more than 40 school pupils paid a visit to Mijnwater. In the power plant in Heerlen’s Maankwartier district, project manager Elise Ritzen (28) captivated the pupils with her story about her studies, her work as a project manager, and how proud she is that her technical education has led to employment with a company that provides renewable energy to various buildings and homes in Heerlen and the surrounding area. She was thanked for her presentation with a delicious cake.
A cosy oasis in the heart of Heerlen
Maurice Kerens lives with his partner, her daughter and his own son on the fifth floor of the Maanplein apartment complex. When you enter, you are astounded by the roominess of the apartment and the large roof terrace. The home is attractively decorated, with modern furniture and a large kitchen unit in the middle of the kitchen/living room. Beautiful woods are combined with a concrete floor that feels cosy and warm. Maurice explains that he deliberately chose a polished concrete floor because he wanted to make the most of the underfloor heating, which in the summer also keeps the apartment cool!
Maurice has been living here since 2016. He moved into the penthouse, with views over Heerlen’s city centre and the Heliostat that towers above Maankwartier, shortly after the apartment complex was completed. ‘My previous home was an old free-standing house in the Hoensbroek district. We were absolutely content there for many years, but when the children started moving out we decided the house was too big and so we looked for a place in the centre of Heerlen.’ My oldest son shares a flat in Utrecht, while my daughter and my partner’s son still live with us. I work for a company in Eindhoven, but I can do a lot of my work from home. I have created a quiet workspace in our spacious bedroom where I can work undisturbed. The other two bedrooms are for the ’kids’, who also share our second bathroom. In the summer we shower on the roof terrace; the outdoor shower is popular with the whole family,’ laughs Maurice.
‘I feel very much at home here. The apartment is spacious enough (240 m2) for all of us and we are not bothered by neighbours or other noise nuisance. An oasis in the heart of Heerlen; where else can you live like this?’
‘We were a little sceptical when we heard this complex was to be completely gas free and that all occupants would get minewater energy. We had heard of the system, but we did not know much about it. After last summer’s extreme heat, I can testify that the system works. Thanks to the supply of heating and cooling, the house remains a comfortable temperature all year round. When it was 38 degrees outside last summer, the temperature inside was 21 degrees, and never got higher than 24. We did keep the large sliding doors to the roof terrace closed during the day to keep the cool air in. It was delicious inside, including at night.’
As the chair of the homeowners’ association in the building, Maurice has also heard less positive stories about the system, but he thinks this can often be blamed on improper use or the wrong type of flooring. He thinks that all owners are happy with the system now. ‘I was very impressed with the customer service. They were really friendly and always took the time to help. They set an example for other suppliers. Mijnwater B.V. really listens to the customer. One final tip: give the residents a tour of the power plant downstairs so they can see how it works; that would clarify a lot.’ After an hour, I thank Maurice for the interview and promise to follow up on his tip as soon as possible.
Maurice Kerens on his roof terrace overlooking the Heliostaat
Mijnwater and the Brunssum-Noord pilot project
As part of the ‘Gas-free districts’ national government programme, for which Kajsa Ollongren, the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, has earmarked €120 million, Brunssum-Noord is to be connected to the Mijnwater B.V district heating and cooling network and serve as an example for other districts in the Netherlands. €4.17 million of the total is available for this project. The pilot project will be carried out in cooperation with the Municipality of Brunssum and the Weller housing corporation. It will initially focus on Weller’s stock of rental housing and later include private homes and public buildings, such as the community centre and shopping centre in Brunssum-Noord. We have given our highest priority to ensuring the participation of all residents of this district; the transition to a gas-free district is something you need to do together. We will start approaching the residents and organize information meetings starting in early January. We will explain the implications of going gas-free to the tenants and, in a later stage, the homeowners in this district, and discuss the alternatives.
You will be able to find more information about the gas-free Brunssum-Noord project on the websites of the three partners soon.
Brunssum Stadsjournaal: how does minewater actually work?
On 5 December 2018 we visited the Maankwartier district together with the Brunssum Stadsjournaal. This is the perfect place to go to explain what minewater is. This fabulous new district in Heerlen is a shining example of energy exchange. Did you know that the waste heat from the cooling systems in the JUMBO supermarket are used to heat homes around Maanplein? Many people are unaware of this, which is why we admitted the Stadsjournaal to our power plant, where Louis Hiddes explained all the ins and outs of minewater systems.
Renovation of the Corridor apartment building Sevagram
More comfort in a nice warm home; this is what Sevagram wants to achieve with the renovation of 88 homes in the Corridor building. Mijnwater B.V. will fit the apartments with new insulated glazing and ventilation grids in the windows. A gas-fired central heating boiler in the cellar will be replaced with a sustainable Mijnwater system. Each apartment will be provided with a new hot-water boiler that is fed by the new heating system. After the renovations have been completed, the flat will be completely gas free.
Of course we needed to inform the occupants of the plan. This took place during a preliminary meeting on 5 December 2018. The residents received information about the renovations, the heating system, and how the comfort in their homes will be improved. All those present were also handed a folder in which the consequences of the apartment renovation were described in detail.
You can view the folder here
Mijnwater lead partner in Interreg D2Grids project
Interreg North-West Europe (NWE) has pledged a grant of €11.6 million to the ‘5th generation DHC D2Grids’* project, of which Mijnwater B.V. is lead partner. This grant will provide an impulse to Mijnwater’s ambition to scale up the technology, which has been reinforced through cooperation with sister projects in Paris, Bochum, Nottingham, and Glasgow. Scaling up its activities and cooperating internationally will help Mijnwater to encourage the industry to develop suitable products and reduce the costs by as much as 10-20%.
Mijnwater work in progress. The installation of our pipeline network involves excavation work in various public spaces. At the moment you can see us at work in Hoensbroek (Terhoevenderweg, nearby Heuts), where we are laying new pipes and relocating the main pipe. A fourth underground bunker (a transfer station) will be installed in January. Waste heat and cooling is processed in these bunkers using heat exchangers and pumps. Installing a prefab concrete bunker is a delicate operation and this work will be carried out as much as possible during off-peak hours so that traffic is disrupted as little as possible.
The first test drill for an open geothermal energy system (ground-coupled heat exchanger) was made for the Tarcisius site on Sint Gregoriuslaan in Brunssum on 10 December 2018. The drillhole was drilled as part of the construction of a circular energy network and was intended to find out if the source is suitable for a functional district heating and cooling system for 20 new-build homes at the Tarcisius site in Brunssum. GEBO BV of Dessel (Belgium) carried out the operation successfully. A similar test drill will be held in January 2019 in Brunssum-Noord.
Read more about the drilling here
If you would you like to know more about our projects you can visit our website:
Mijnwater at trade shows and symposia
- Celsius summit 21-11-2018, Brussel
- Potential Grubenwasser in NRW 21-11-2018
- Visit SmartCity Alliance to Heerlen 21-22 nov 2018
- Round table DH Gembloux (30 nov 2018)
- Zero-energy using heat (11 dec 2018)
- Climate agreement and EU funding scheme (13 December 2018)
SmartCity Alliance visit to Heerlen (21/22 November)
Mining the future in practice – sustainable heat generation, distribution and storage
At the request of the Smart City Alliance (UK), Mijnwater B.V. organized a two-day workshop about the technology behind minewater and the road to the 5th generation of DHC (District Heating and Cooling). The participants in the Smart City Alliance tour were really enthusiastic about the benefits the former mines are bringing us and how Mijnwater B.V. has succeeded in developing a technology to transport renewable energy to homes and buildings without using natural gas. Under the leadership of René Verhoeven (project manager) and Herman Eijdems (innovation manager), the participants followed lectures and were given a tour by bus, during which they gained a good impression of Mijnwater's best practices in Heerlen.
The Smart City Alliance is an effective platform that encourages cooperation in the field of welfare and sustainability between various parties. ‘Exchange of best practice, successes and failures has always been the approach of winners. As has ability to standardize, replicate and continuously improve.’ (Quote from the Smart City Alliance webpage.)
Who are we?
The ambition of Mijnwater B.V., established in 2013, is to continue the development of the project in the Municipality of Heerlen into a 100% renewable energy company. The heart of the minewater project is an enormous system of disused mines, which enable both hot and cold water to be sourced and stored. Mijnwater BV also operates other energy-exchange systems that are not directly connected to the underground minewater buffers.
The company has since connected various huge building complexes in Heerlen to the minewater network. 270 homes, a number of office blocks, schools, nurseries, a sports hall, and two supermarkets are now enjoying the sustainable comfort provided by minewater energy. These and future connections enable Mijnwater BV to make a valuable contribution to Parkstad Limburg's ambition of achieving a 65% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2040.