Skip to main content

Offgrid Center

Bárcena de Bureba has been deserted because it wasn't connected to the power grid 100 years ago. Initially, the residents found it too scary; your hair stands on end, and you could even die Barcena it. Later, the younger generation raised funds, but someone ran off with the money. Long story short, a village without electricity, and the last resident left 40 years ago.

We want to make the village inhabitable again, but in a better way with a smaller ecological footprint. With current technology, solar panels will form the basis of our energy generation. We asked The Hague University of Applied Sciences to conduct a study to see if this is feasible. After six months of work, they delivered an initial version of the report, indicating that it's possible, but support will be needed during the winter months. This support was initially based on biofuel. Hopefully, we can avoid this; we're not looking forward to burning wood, especially if 50 houses are all doing it.

To gain experience and because we need electricity during construction, we will initially set up a system. This system should be expandable and capable of capturing and storing solar power. Additionally, it should be flexible in managing electricity. We want to establish two networks: one with high-priority power for essentials like the refrigerator that always needs to be on, and one for low-priority devices like the television that can be turned off during power shortages.

We had looked around on the internet and stumbled upon a Chinese system a few months ago. While this system may have worked well, despite being okay with doing a lot ourselves, I wanted more support with such a system.

After an internet search, I found the Offgrid Center. On their website, they specialize in tiny houses, caravans, and other offgrid systems. Additionally, I was very pleased to see that they were willing to brainstorm and collaborate. I sent them an email about our project and asked if we could talk. After an email and a phone call, they expressed great enthusiasm, and we arranged to meet in Wierden.

That's a four-hour train ride back and forth, so it took some calendar coordination, but we were able to meet quickly. We spoke with Nander for 90 minutes, who provided us with a wealth of information at lightning speed. Batteries, inverters, DC versus AC, management, water purification, and toilet options. It was very clear and looked of high quality. We agreed to collaborate and start with an initial system.

Two days later, we received the list of items. We exchanged some more questions and are now ready to order. It will be delivered as a pallet in the Netherlands, after which we will transport it to Spain with our trailer. It will be an exciting journey, and it will be even more exciting to get everything up and running there. But with the help of the Offgrid Center, it will certainly succeed!


  1. Went to search for Barcena de Bureba yesterday and ended up in the wrong one. Found out later where the other one is, yours.
    Is this where we have to follow your adventure or will you (also) make a YouTube channel?
    Me and some friends like to follow you!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The first week of work

After the transaction we had time to think about what we could do in the village, as now we are the owners. The next option for us to go to Spain was in the autumn holidays. Earlier on we tried to combine it with Spanish classes for the kids, but we couldn’t arrange extra free time from school, so we had to stick to the one week of school vacation. We thought about starting at one of the houses which is in the relative good condition, like getting a door, so we could close it and store stuff there. But we had no electricity or tools as we had no space to keep stuff safe. So we were kind of stuck in a chicken and egg problem. To get out of this we set up a plan to get a container which we could lock. But that would not be there for this vacation. Then Maaike’s parents asked: “Would it be of any use if we were there with some tools to clear away the burrs, bushes and so on?” Of course that would be great! We were happy that they were enthusiastic and by itself there was a plan to do

El Vicino

In May we went to 'our' village to show it to the parents of Maaike. So we drove there and after a half our drive with a lot of corners we were a bit drowsy getting out of the car. And there stood a friendly man in blue overalls.  He seemed Spanish we asked Maaike to talk to him. But she did not know what to say. So we looked at each other for a couple of minutes.  Then he started to tell that the village is empty which we agreed upon off course. He also told that the village was being bought by some people. Maaike asked if she should reply and we said yes please do. After telling the we are the mysterious people we are buying the village he started to tell a lot of stories. His name is Gerardo. He was born in the village and now lives in Burgos and in the summer in Abajas.  He knew about the buy because he owns a parcel of land and did not want to sell. He want to keep it for income and only wants to rent it out. So we talked about that for a bit and as we were interested in k

Finding the right pieces of land

When we first visited Bárcena de Bureba we where guided by the current owner Marcelino. As we where interested, we told him about our project Ardbol. We explained him that we needed about 5 to 10 hectares of land. He replied that it was no problem, he knew many farmers in the area. Soon we got an image of the land area (See image below) from Marcelino without any explanation but it looked promising.  We assumed the black crosses where the pieces of land we could buy. When I checked it on the Spanish cadastral website some pieces where quite clear but some existed out of many small parts.  After the price negotiation we where anxiously waiting on which pieces of land we could buy. In august we got a large zipfile with new information. As Yasmin could not open it and we where on mobiles we needed to wait until we where behind a computer, which of course added on to the tension. Finally we could open it. In it where 64 files. 60 of each house and 4 for the land. See the next image in whic