Energy in the Greenport Venlo area The energy company Etriplus

Etriplus is an energy company established in the Greenport Venlo area. The objective of Etriplus is to develop energy production, infrastructure and energy savings with the aim of providing renewable energy and price continuity to companies in the Greenport Venlo area. This will develop an attractive proposition that will strengthen the competitive position of companies in the Greenport Venlo area.

Our conceptual approach is based on the Quatras Energetica roadmap:

  1. Energy savings
  2. Production of sustainable energy
  3. Energy from the environment. Energy exchange with other companies can optimize energy consumption
  4. Fossil energy for the remaining energy demand.

An energy concept based on these principles delivers cost optimization, due to lower energy demands, price continuity and a lower carbon footprint. This will give companies in the area a long- term licence to operate.

Etriplus was founded in 2013 by the area developer, the Development Company Greenport Venlo (DCGV), and the private companies Alliander, Aracadis Netherlands, Greenchoice and Ekwadraat.


Figure 1: Location of the Greenport Venlo area


Strategic framework

DCGV has set itself the objective of generating social and economic returns to support economic strengthening around Greenport Venlo. This objective is achieved by an integrated area approach and a high-quality, pleasant working environment that encourages expansion and relocation, and attracts new and existing businesses. Spatial-economic development amongst others is encouraged by the realization of wide area utility facilities. Here self-sufficiency with regard to water and energy (heat) is pursued. This concept of sustainability is reflected in, amongst others, (re) use of recycled materials, renewable energy generation and supply, reduction of CO2 emissions and an integrated approach to all water systems.

Master Plan

The investments are being prioritised in the Master Plan and in DCGV’s Strategic Business Plan concerning the area development of Klavertje 4 / Greenport Venlo. These plans and the budget were approved by the city councils and the provincial councils on 26 January 2009. The Master Plan is an administrative agreement between the local and provincial authorities. The Strategic Business Plan is the implementation of the Master Plan.

Investments in energy savings and energy supply have been prioritised as strategic to the potential establishment of companies in the Agriculture and Horticulture sectors. The Strategic Business Plan defines the investments to be made in energy networks and states that DCGV will invest at least EUR 25 million venture capital in the network. The approach has further been defined in the ‘Energy Master Plan’. This is the Strategic Energy Action Plan which has been elaborated in consultation with local entrepreneurs, sectoral representatives, energy companies, grid operators and financial institutions. The Energy Master Plan is approved by the mayors and city councils of the municipalities and the province represented in DCGV.

Energy Master Plan

The Energy Master Plan describes opportunities to reduce overall fossil energy consumption. Principles for the Energy Master Plan are: maximum self-sufficiency at no higher costs and a positive contribution to financial returns for DCGV. When aiming for an energy neutral territory, it seems realistic to assume that savings of up to 23% are achievable, compared to today’s standard fossil market solutions. Durable Energy Production and Supply account for 43% of the remaining energy demand. The plan describes two operational approaches:

  1. Energy Savings: investigating and funding energy saving projects can provide an attractive and sustainable business and investment climate;
  2. Energy Production & Supply: trading, supply and participation in energy and waste flows can generate renewable generation capacity.

The Energy Master Plan concludes that sustainable and profitable energy supply can be stimulated by short-term attention to Energy Saving and Energy Production & Supply, possibly in the form of separate specialized companies.

Investing in energy saving and renewable generation capacity requires a long-term vision. The time horizon for companies is often more short-term. Also, the economics of the now widely used gas- fired CHP in horticulture are such that investments in energy saving and renewable generation

capacity are not directly economically attractive. Nevertheless, replacement of natural gas and energy saving measures actually makes sense. These measures may reduce primary energy consumption to less than half while ensuring a better balance in the energy demand. Both Energy Saving and Energy Production & Supply actions have an appropriate profit target, where mutual aid is not excluded.


Figure 2. The Greenport Venlo Area Masterplan


Etriplus will focus on sustainable energy

The objective is to provide heat, cold and electricity, preferably from renewable energy sources for businesses in the area such as greenhouses, fresh food companies, logistics and warehousing companies and regular office buildings, etc. An important part of the proposed action is to replicate the projects at area level and to inspire other local authorities.

Energy is important to improve the value proposition for the Greenport area. Important stakeholders that support this are the three municipalities and the province which are all part of the public organization DCGV, and the fresh food and agro-logistics companies in the Greenport area (energy is a major part of their cost structures and sustainability is becoming more and more important for their value proposition).

To close the chain of energy demand, a wide variety of businesses should be clustered. Developing transcending area energy infrastructure based on renewable sources requires a long term focus to attract long-term finance. The participation of the local and regional public authorities makes this possible, along with strong private partners like Alliander and Greenchoice.


Focus on sustainable energy will result in:

  • An increase in the amount of renewable energy generated in the area and its surroundings tomeet the energy demand;
  • Energy efficiency being applied to introduce renewable energy instead of simply trying toreduce the use of fossil fuels;
  • Reducing the CO2 footprint while marketing acceptable operating profit margins;
  • The energy system being attractive enough to improve the business proposition of thecompanies situated in the area.


Type of projects

The approach of Etriplus is based on the Trias Energetica method:

Energy savings on existing buildings through:

  • Energy efficiency measures (refurbishment), reinvestment in AA Label technology leading to BREEAM certification, energy-efficient lighting and isolation
  • Reducing conventional refrigeration techniques by using efficient techniques for transforming heat into cold (adsorption cooling)
  • Specific measures on savings on heating and cooling:
    • Greenhouses: new growing methods, screens and LED
    • Cooling stores: modern refrigeration instead of traditional cooling techniques
  1. Smart district heating and cooling, including re-use of surplus heat, energy sources connected to multiple buildings, investments in area-wide infrastructure, High TemperatureStorage and adsorption cooling.
  2. Locally produced Renewable Energy Systemens (RES): geothermal, biogas, wood and solar PV



Figure 2: Etriplus approach : the Trias Energetica methodoly

The following types of projects can be developed by Etriplus:

• Heat networks in horticulture areas
• Heat and cold supply to entrepreneurs in business parks
• Local sustainable renewable energy through solar PV, wind, biomass and geothermal power
• Recycling of biomass
• Establish ESCOs for energy saving measures.
• Introduction of innovations within companies or area-specific infrastructure (e.g. DC solar PV and smart grid concepts).

Actual projects

The objective is to significantly increase the share of renewable/waste energy supplies as part of the District Heating and Cooling Networks in three areas of Greenpark Venlo in The Netherlands.

In the project, technical engineering will be carried out with suppliers of residual heat and biogas on the one hand, and contracts will be signed with clients on the other hand. The projects will lead to investments in energy production and distribution (infrastructure) of heat and cold.
The objective of Etriplus is to develop the projects until financial close has been achieved and the projects are realised. The following projects are under development:

• renewable energy supply (biogas production, converting heat into cold and PV electricity) and a District Cooling network at Fresh Park,
• a district heating network including a geothermal source at Californië / Trade Port Noord in combination with a cooling network (adsorption)

• a district heating network including biogas production and distribution at Siberië.




Figure 4: Etriplus project locations in the Greenport Venlo area


Californië and Trade Port Noord

Californië is a 375-acre horticultural concentration area (greenhouses), set in a green environment. It is an attractive business location for horticulture because of its location within a stone’s throw from Fresh Park Venlo and also close to the important German market. They are currently drilling for geothermal heat at a depth of 2.5 kilometres in this area. This fits in perfectly with Greenport Venlo’s ambition to generate sustainable energy and develop it in the area.

Trade Port Noord (TPN) is being developed as a logistics centre in the northwest of Venlo and is also a pioneer of the Trade Port concept.

Trade Port Noord business centre has 230 acres of land available for logistics and transloading activities. Due to its convenient location in the vicinity of airports, highways and waterways, TPN is an attractive business location. In addition, there are also large plots available for release.

Energy project:
• Geothermal source(s) supplying heat to a District Heating Network (DHN)

• The DHN will be extracted towards TPN. The heat will be transformed into cold by means of absorption cooling to provide cooling houses with energy


Siberië is a second area (185 acres) dedicated to sustainable development and horticulture, offering business properties and activities in the Greenport Venlo region. The greenhouse area and business park (30 acres) offer spacious plots and room for development. Siberië therefore fits nicely into the surrounding rural environment.

Energy Project:

  • District Heating Network (DHN) supplied with both natural gas and biogas. A digester and a biogas network will be built in order to provide the greenhouses and buildings with renewable gas for heating purposes (approx. 15 million m3 of biogas)


Figur 5: Fresh Park Venlo

Fresh Park

Fresh Park Venlo is a conveniently located business area with a size of 130 acres with a large cluster of fresh food companies. It is home to more than 130 fresh food companies and suppliers. These operate together on the fresh food market and offer the widest possible range of fresh products and services. Fresh Park Venlo contains all products within the range of fresh foods – such as vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and dairy – and floriculture.

Fresh Park Venlo has about 10 acres that are ready to be released at short notice.

Energy Project:

  • Solar PV systems on the roofs of existing buildings
  • A cooling network which will be fed with either a geothermal source or biogas plant with energy.