The commune of Crisnée in Liege province is to begin producing its own electricity to make available to residents at a low price, the municipal authorities have announced. Crisnée intends to build a wind turbine and install 1,000 solar panels to supply local businesses and the 3,400 residents of the town.
“Providing energy on a large scale is more efficient than having residents produce their own,” energy specialist Joannes Laveyne of the university of Ghent told Het Belang Van Limburg.
Consumers in the town will not have to pay for the electricity itself, but they will have to pay the costs of transporting the electricity to the national grid, as well as a share of the fees for connecting to the grid. But since the power produced by the generating installation will be in excess of what is needed by the townspeople, that excess can be sold to the network to recoup some of the costs.
“It’s not the commune’s aim to make a profit,” said mayor Philippe Goffin. “The electricity will be sold at cost price to people registered in this commune. The savings on electricity bills will be in the order of 25 to 30%.”
The project, christened Power For You, will be overseen by Professor Damien Ernst of Liege university.
“This will be the first time that people get a chance to join an electricity community for their power needs,” he said. “But they will not be obliged to take part. They will also be able to remain with their existing provider, although there’s a good chance that could cost them 30% more.”