The city depot of Kortrijk


The Belgian city of Kortrijk, ambitious in the field of energy, strives to be the first city in Flanders to become energy neutral. Within 15 years, Kortrijk wants to minimise the city’s influence on the environment & climate, to become a true Climate City. The city of about 76,000 inhabitants mobilises their citizens, companies, schools & associations to all contribute to this common goal.

A big step in that process is making the water, electricity and gas utilisation by the city facilities totally sustainable through smart management. To further achieve their goals, Kortrijk, joined by KU Leuven, decided to participate in the SEEV4-City project.

The operational pilot of Kortrijk, although a rather small test case when compared to the other pilots, offers a unique set of circumstances to share practical experience in achieving a more sustainable city energy system. Consisting of municipal sport facilities, a depot for city services, a PV-installation the size of 3/40 of a football field (yearly producing enough green energy to provide 22 families all year long), a smart charging station and currently one Nissan E-NV200, an electric delivery van, the pilot aspires to become a small power plant. The energy produced by the PV-installation is used by the depot and sport facilities, but any excess energy will be injected into the EV, stationary battery or e-bikes on site to be used when necessary.

The regular driving hours of the mailman and his daily predetermined trajectory provide clear boundaries to implement smart charging algorithms. Once the researchers of KU Leuven find an optimal way of distributing the energy & implementing the resulting algorithms, they can look to the final impact of their efforts. They expect a rise in energy autonomy and a yearly saving of 33.4 tons of -emissions. These numbers will only increase when more EV’s will be purchased by the city of Kortrijk. Plans for expansion to other city service buildings are already being considered and fit in the ambitious plan of being the first Flemish energy neutral city.