BAM gets €5m grant for energy-neutral household retrofits

BAM has secured a €5m (£3.5m) grant for development of a project to retrofit thousands of homes with solar panels and heat pumps in place of gas. The work is part of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme

The project also incorporates features to avoid the need for additional investment in national electricity grids as a result of the changes.

The grant for BAM’s project from the European Commission is being awarded as part of Horizon 2020, a subsidy programme for research and innovation.

The Rennovates project was developed by BAM Advies & Engineering and BAM Woningbouw W&R – Renovatie as an expansion of ‘de Stroomversnelling’ (the Rapids – electricity acceleration), an industrial approach to net-zero retrofitting of the Dutch housing stock.  For this, the gas connection is removed and only electricity is used in the home. The electrical energy is generated by solar panels and heat by heat pumps. The goal of ‘de Stroomversnelling’ is to retrofit approximately 111,000 homes and make them energy neutral.

‘De Stroomversnelling’ programme has a major impact on the energy grids and so network operator Stedin is one of the project partners. There is a high demand for electricity in the winter and a surplus in the summer because residents generate their own energy with solar panels and want to give this energy back to the grid. Through control with heat pumps and absorbing these peaks with batteries, it is possible for Stedin to minimise or avoid costly investments in more capacity on the electricity network. BAM eventually expects to offer this as a new service to grid operators.

The REnnovates innovation project includes 200  homes in ‘de Stroomversnelling’ project.

BAM sought cooperation with eight European partners for the innovation project. The consortium includes two construction companies: Mostostal (Poland) and Mondragon (Spain). The Dutch network operator Stedin will examine the impact on the network. Belgium is represented in the consortium by the Flemish research institution VITO, the Flemish start-up in the area of ‘smart grids’ Enervalis and by Belfius Bank. The other partners are MassiveCell Technologies, a Finnish start-up that builds innovative battery systems, and KEO, a German electronics company that will introduce its EEBus communications standard.