Sustainable Ostend Science Park

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Ostend Science Park is located in the Belgian coastal city of Ostend. Here UGent, POM West Flanders and the Port of Ostend want to cluster companies developing products and services linked to the blue economy. The goal: to create a business park making the best possible use of the local production of renewable energy and sustainable building climate control.

To meet this objective, Witteveen+Bos collaborated with Th!nk-E and BDO to conduct a study into the design and business model of a sustainable and innovative energy concept. We investigated the techno-economic feasibility of an energy community aimed at making maximum use of locally-produced renewable energy and sharing sustainable heat and cold between the companies. The study investigated three scenarios: a low-temperature heat network using shallow geothermal energy, individual heat pumps per building, and a heat network fed by residual heat from the region.

We performed a technical analysis and dynamic simulations, and also calculated the total cost of ownership (TCO) for each energy concept. The heat concepts were then translated into a feasible business model for a third party such as an energy service firm (ESCO), which facilitates the companies. ESCO will invest in the energy assets and manage them for 25 years.

Financial modelling enabled us to show that the companies’ annual energy costs will not be higher than for a classic energy system operating with natural gas. This study and the advice led the developers to choose not to use natural gas. Ostend Science Park therefore intends as far as possible to develop the science park without using natural gas.

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