Vattenfall to build second unsubsidised Dutch offshore wind farm
Vattenfall is going to construct and operate the second unsubsidised wind farm in the Dutch North Sea, more specifically in Wind Farm Sites III and IV of the Hollandse Kust (zuid) Wind Farm Zone. Upon its completion in 2023, the wind farm will generate 760 MW of electricity, which is enough to power a million homes and provide over 2.5% of the country's electricity needs. Vattenfall also received the permit to build Wind Farm Sites I and II of the Hollandse Kust (zuid) Wind Farm Zone in 2018.
From receiving subsidies to paying ground rent
The wind power sector is growing and offshore wind farms are becoming increasingly cheaper to build. As recently as 2016, the developer of the Borssele Wind Farm Zone was still receiving subsidies for the electricity it generated. In 2018, Chinook/Vattenfall won the first unsubsidised Dutch tender. Now, instead of receiving subsidies, Vattenfall will pay around €2 million per year in ground rent for the seabed area where the Hollandse Kust (zuid) III and IV wind farm will be constructed. The electricity cable connecting the wind farm to the mainland will be installed by the transmission system operator TenneT.
Offshore wind farms and the Climate Agreement
In accordance with the Climate Agreement, 70% of the Dutch electricity needs, i.e. a total of at least 84 TWh, must be generated sustainably (solar or wind power) by 2030. More than half (49 TWh) will be generated by offshore wind farms, while the other 35 TWh will come from onshore wind farms and onshore solar farms. As well as fulfilling the electricity needs of homes and businesses, offshore wind power also helps industry replace fossil fuels and materials with 'green molecules', such as hydrogen created by wind-powered electrolysis.
What will the wind farm look like?
The average distance between the wind turbines will be approximately 1 km. In principle, the space in between is available for alternative uses, provided these are compatible with the wind farm. Within offshore wind farms there are opportunities to promote natural development beneath the waves. Some species are able to regenerate in wind farm zones while the seabed remains undisturbed by fishing, certain species establish themselves in or around the foundations of the wind turbines.
In the years to come, the amount of electricity generated by offshore wind farms will substantially increase. A 'wind boom' is coming. Currently, Dutch offshore wind farms generate a total of approximately 1 gigawatt (GW) of power, a figure that will have risen to at least 4.5 GW – or 16% of the Netherlands' total electricity output – by 2023. This total will subsequently increase to around 11 GW – or 40% of our electricity needs – by 2030.
Construction of other wind farms progresses
In the Borssele Wind Farm Zone, both Ørsted (the winning bidder for Wind Farm Sites I and II) and Blauwwind (the winning bidder for Sites III and IV) are now in the process of constructing their wind farms. Ørsted has already set up a maintenance centre in Vlissingen. In May 2019, the first offshore transformer station was installed to transport the electricity from the wind farms to the mainland.
Vattenfall is currently preparing to start construction of the wind turbines in Wind Farm Sites I and II of the Hollandse Kust (zuid) Wind Farm Zone. With winning both tenders Vattenfall will build and operate both wind farms in this zone.