The Netherlands hustle things on offshore wind

Thursday, 28 May, 2015 - 13:30
Designated wind farm zones in the Netherlands continental shelf. (Graphic: Netherlands Enterprise Agency)
Designated wind farm zones in the Netherlands continental shelf. (Graphic: Netherlands Enterprise Agency)

The Netherlands will launch two 350 MW offshore wind tenders in December 2015. Subsidy and licences will be made available to the lowest bidder for sites 1 and 2 of the Borssele wind farm zone.

The conditions for offshore wind energy in the Netherlands are excellent: relatively shallow waters, good wind resource, good harbour facilities, experienced industry and a new, robust support system. The roadmap to increase offshore wind capacity from todays 1,000 MW to 4,500 MW in 2023 as part of the National Energy Agreement names five tenders of 700 MW each. With Borssele wind farm zone 1 and 2 with 350 MW each, the first tender is planned to be launched in December.

According to the Minister of Economic Affairs, the preparatory work for the envisaged offshore wind tenders is on schedule. If however, the Offshore Wind Energy Act (Wet windenergie op zee) will not enter into effect on the envisaged date of 1 July 2015, the site decisions for Borssele 1 and 2 and the first tender will be postponed until a later date. Later on, Borssele wind farm will be followed by four further tenders in the upcoming years: Borssele wind farm zone 3 and 4 with 350 MW each in 2016, two South Holland Coast wind farm zones of 700 MW each in 2017 and 2018 respectively and the North Holland Coast wind farm zone with 700 MW in 2019.

Companies that want to develop a wind farm can base their Front End Engineering Design studies on these preparatory works and register for one or more of the selected sites. The company with the best and cheapest plan obtains the permit and grant to develop the wind farm. Through this approach the government hopes to contribute to efficient use of space, cost reduction and the acceleration of the deployment of offshore wind energy.

Katharina Garus

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