Three new wind turbines in Pelt provide energy for 8,000 families

Thursday October 28, 2021

Thursday 28 October 2021 - The Storm wind farm in the vicinity of the Nyrstar site in Pelt was officially inaugurated this afternoon by Zuhal Demir, Flemish Minister of Justice and Enforcement, Environment, Energy and Tourism. The municipal council of the municipality of Pelt and the board of Nyrstar and Storm were also present.

Minister Zuhal Demir inaugurates the most bird-friendly wind farm in Flanders

With a symbolic push on the button, Minister Demir officially put the three wind turbines into operation together with some pupils of the local STEM school in Pelt.

The wind farm in Pelt consists of three wind turbines with an electrical capacity of 4.0 to 4.5 MW, a rotor diameter of 145m and a tip height of 170m.

The wind turbines are located on land belonging to zinc smelter Nyrstar and neighbouring company Velbo. A large part of the green power is fed into the high-voltage grid via Nyrstar's electricity network.

"Companies like Nyrstar and Storm bring a breath of fresh air to our Flemish energy landscape. The wind farm in Pelt demonstrates the enormous potential of wind energy and once again highlights the fact that wind is and will remain a crucial factor in the energy transition. This wind farm is not only one of the most efficient, but also the most bird-friendly wind farm in the country. It proves that Energy and Nature can go hand in hand" - Flemish Minister of Energy and Nature Zuhal Demir.

The wind turbines in Pelt are linked to the meteoradar of the KMI and the VMM in Houthalen. "We are in the middle of bird migration and were therefore able to fully test the bird radar during the test runs of our wind turbines" says project manager Christophe Kinds of Storm. "This technological innovation enables us to better anticipate the activity of birds in the vicinity of our wind farm. The wind turbines are automatically shut down when swarms of birds are approaching."

Mayor Franks Smeets hopes that "this story can soon have a sequel. Now that the air force has cleared the air space above our municipality for wind turbines, we are working on a wind plan for the entire Nolimpark. In this way, our companies can generate their own 'clean' energy and everyone can enjoy clean air and green power."

"Nyrstar's zinc smelters in Balen and Pelt run almost entirely on electricity," adds Inge Schildermans, General Manager Nyrstar Belgium. The new wind farm provides 30% of the energy needs of the zinc smelter in Pelt. "Compare it to an electric car that emits almost no CO2. Today's extremely expensive electricity prices make it all the more important to keep "greening" our electricity: Together with our other solar and wind projects, we can use this green power to make low-carbon zinc, which more and more customers are asking for."

"This wind farm came about thanks to constructive cooperation with, among others, Defence, Nyrstar and the local authorities," says Jan Caerts, managing director of Storm. "We have noticed that there is a large support base for wind energy. A lot of local residents have supported this project here in Pelt through our cooperative Storm CV. We experienced the same enthusiasm from the students of the STEM option of the WICO Campus Tio, who are also present today for the commissioning of the wind farm. They have visited the wind farm construction site several times."

The wind farm in Pelt produces enough green power to meet the annual electricity consumption of around 8,000 families. Residents of the municipality of Pelt and the city of Lommel were given the opportunity to share in the profits of the wind turbines through the cooperative Storm CV at the end of 2019. A total of 156 local residents co-invested in the wind farm.

You can find more information about Windpark Pelt at:

Fabienne Buvens
Communications Advisor, Nyrstar Balen/Pelt
+32 (0) 473/78.23.40

Eveline D. Milonas
Communication Manager, Storm
+32 (0) 491/72.06.67