Belgium/ A citizen wind turbine project in Oupeye

Published on 31/01/2023 | La rédaction


Five 150-meter high wind turbines on the border between the communes of Oupeye and Juprelle, that's what Engie wants to build. There would be two on Juprelle and three on Oupeye, all at least 600 meters from the houses. The procedure of unique permit has just been launched. The five wind turbines could produce the equivalent of the consumption of 15.000 households.

Among the three wind turbines, one will be paid for by the municipality, with a civic purpose since the inhabitants will be able to become co-owners.

This citizen wind turbine is an expensive investment -it can be estimated at 5 million euros- but in principle profitable, while having advantages for the inhabitants who will invest in it: " We are going to set up a citizen cooperative in which the municipality of Oupeye will be a 49% shareholder. Part of the shares will be made available to citizens, small businesses and farmers. They will be entitled to a preferential rate on electricity and this will allow the commune of Oupeye to have a price of electricity below the market price.This will allow the municipality of Oupeye to have an electricity price below the market price, a much more stable price, with which we will pay for public lighting, etc." The permit procedure is underway, but the project is not yet complete.

The permit procedure is underway, but there is one uncertainty: these wind turbines are not compatible with the Einstein telescope project that the University of Liege wants to build in the Euregio. Not compatible, at least for the moment: " Wind turbines emit vibrations into the ground and this is what worries the consortium in charge of the Einstein tel escope. It is important to know that this consortium has defined a very large geographical area in which it does not wish to see new wind turbines installed, but we have good hopes that this implantation of the telescope will be more and more refined. Given that the Oupeye project is really at the limit of the excluded zone, we are going to get out of it very quickly. It is really the hope that we have ", estimates Nicolas De Deken, project manager.

It will take about 2 years for these wind turbines to be operational.


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