De Nieuwe Dokken

A district’s residents share ownership of their energy infrastructure

De Nieuwe Dokken (The New Docks) in Ghent is a large-scale residential neighbourhood on the east side of the Handelsdok, mainly for the upper middle class, but with 20 per cent social housing and another 20 per cent low-priced apartments. The Nieuwe Dokken district reveals an interesting energy model. A cooperative operates a heat and water network with closed circuits for heat, water and waste. By buying a dwelling there, inhabitants automatically become shareholders in the local energy infrastructure. This allows them to share in the profits of the investment in the form of low energy prices. The 400 flats are provided by the cooperative heat network, which is powered by residual heat from a nearby factory (2/3) and locally recovered sewage heat (1/3). In addition, solar panels are installed on as many buildings as possible. Thanks to a district battery, these permanently supply the heat pumps and car-charging stations. For household electricity, residents choose their own supplier, but group purchases are made possible at advantageous rates.

partners and actors
Schipperskaai Development, City of Ghent, Stéphane Beel Architects, BLAF Architects, DENC!-studio, ONIX, RONT, PAUWELS, ELD, ANTEA, DuCoop, Sogent
innovative aspects
ownership, local development?, organisational form