Netherlands to build world’s largest and cheapest wind farm
The government has announced the construction of the first major Dutch wind farm on the sea. Not only will it be the largest offshore wind farm in the world when it’s completed, it will also be the cheapest for tax payers.
The coming years a large number of wind turbines will be built off the Zeeland coastline, which will generate a total of 1400 megawatt when the project is finished. Borssele, as the wind farm will be called, should be ready by 2020 and will be located 22 kilometres off the Dutch coast.
Lowest subsidy in history for offshore wind energy
The first half of the wind farm will be constructed by the Danish Dong Energy, for a record-low subsidy. The deal will reportedly save the state 2,7 billion euros over the course of 15 years, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The public tender for the second half of the project starts next month.
The government collected a total of 38 bids from different parties that wanted to take on the project. Large corporations such as Shell, RWE (parent company of Essent) and Vattenfall (parent company of Nuon) all submitted proposals.
The Dutch state was willing to accept subsidy requests for up to 12,4 cents per kilowatthour (kWh). Dong Energy submitted a proposal for 7,27 cents/kWh which became the winning bid. Until now, the cheapest offshore wind farm in the world was built at 10,3 cents/kWh.
Dong Energy, which has the Danish state as majority owner, is market leader in Europe when it comes to wind power. The company wants to use 8 megawatt turbines, instead of the current generation that produces 3 to 4 MW.
Tennet is building the infrastructure that will connect the wind farm to the Dutch power grid.
Far less renewable energy than rest of Europe
The Netherlands is lagging behind the rest of Europe quite significantly in terms of producing renewable energy. The construction of hundreds of wind turbines on the North Sea will help reduce this gap, and Dutch officials hope in the future to play a leading role in Europe in the area of renewable energy.
By 2023 a total of five large wind farms are planned, which will generate 3500 megawatts. That’s enough to power five million households.
The energieakkoord (the agreement on sustainable growth from 2013), calls for 16 percent of all energy generated in the Netherlands to come from renewable energy sources by 2023.