- Small wind turbines generate sustainable energy for farms.
- Four UT and Saxion alumni with a shared passion for wind developed a small windmill that fits in a green environment.
- Due to the various seasons in the Netherlands, EAZ is now working on combining solar and wind energy to achieve higher efficiencies.
The abbreviation EAZ stands for Enschede aan Zee, in English: Enschede-upon-Sea. The company was founded in 2015 by four fanatic windsurfers who studied at the University of Twente (UT) and Saxion University of Applied Sciences. One of the guys is the son of an arable farmer in Groningen and pointed out the possibilities of wind energy. As an intern, he saw small turbines at farms in Denmark. He then started making one for his father. EAZ's first customer was the father's neighbour, for whom the current model was developed. The mill has a rotor with a diameter of 12 meters, wooden blades, a steel mast with a shaft height of 15 meters and a turbine. This makes the windmill about the height of a tree. The design was created by downsizing existing technologies to fit a smaller model. The mill is green and has a beautiful tail. The tail is not just an easthetic design choice, as it also ensures the blades are always facing the direction of the wind.
Currently, 270 mills of EAZ are installed in the Netherlands, 230 of which in the province of Groningen. The small wind turbines of EAZ are especially attractive for farmers. The mission of the four former UT and Saxion students is to globally provide the countryside with sustainable energy through sustainable sources located at farms. The guys currently have fifty employees on their payroll, as well as two factories.
One mill will last at least 20 years and costs 52,000 euros. For this price, all activities are taken care of, from permit applications to repairs. EAZ Wind now installs between 100 and 130 mills per year. The company wants to double its turnover in the coming two years, thus making a greater contribution to generating sustainable energy. The mills produce around 25,000 kWh per year with a capacity of 10 kWh, which is sufficient to meet the electricity demand of a dozen households or a farmer with around 100 cows.
In addition to wind turbines, EAZ Wind will focus on installing solar panels. In the countryside, people are looking for ways to save on energy bills by generating electricity themselves. EAZ offers the solution by providing farms with solar panels and wind turbines. The solar panels serve for energy generation in the summer and the windmills for energy generation in the winter. Consistent energy generation keeps the electricity grid in balance and simplifies the issue of energy storage. The modest size of the windmills and the solar panels ensure better blending into the landscape.