We helped turn the NDSM-wharf into a laboratory for sustainable energy

‘Opgewekt aan het IJ’

Bold ideas do not just happen. Very often they pop up when thoughts have been simmering for a while. This is exactly what happened in 2012 when one of Fronteer’s founders Martijn Pater became part of a group of entrepreneurs with a crazy plan. They envisioned that the NDSM-wharf could become self-sustaining by 2030. All companies, visitors, festivals, hospitality, transport could become part of a system where energy flows freely and sustains itself, independent of the grid. This should inspire people in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and in the rest of the world. The NDSM-wharf is a unique hotbed for creativity and entrepreneurship. The group wanted to use this for a good cause.

In order to make this happen, the co-operation ‘NDSM Energie’ was founded. It is now a 70-company member organisation where each member has one vote. Large companies are member (HEMA, BAM, Viacom, Red Bull, Greenpeace) as well as local artists and small businesses that take part with an equal say. The main activities so far have revolved around energy generation. NDSM Energie is well positioned to build 5 wind turbines within the Amsterdam city borders before 2020. The turbines should be able to power 400 companies and 3000 households. NDSM Energie has also facilitated the construction of a number of large solar projects on roofs of several members of the co-operation.

The future of NDSM Energie

Smart usage of energy, storage, education and innovation are all part of the bigger plan. The co-operation has learnt that it takes time to change the game when there is a lot at stake. The members have become lobbyists, campaigners and collaborators in order to create impact. Another learning is that you need strong partners to win over the hearts and minds of people less inclined to change. Luckily NDSM Energie is comprised of a great group of likeminded organisations.

Bold ideas start with a dream, but realising a dream takes time and hard work. Someone once said ‘passion, perseverance and preparedness, are the ingredients for success’. We could not agree more.

One day we will all dance at one of the great NDSM festivals powered by wind energy, which was stored in a large battery, while sipping on a locally brewed beer. Until that day comes NDSM Energie works hard to make it happen.

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We are happy to tell you more

Martijn Pater