Working towards the world’s first subsidy-free offshore wind farm

A lot has happened in the past year with regard to the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm. In July 2019 it was announced that Vattenfall had also won the tender for the development of sites 3 and 4. This means that Vattenfall is the owner of the largest (subsidy-free) offshore wind farm in the world upon delivery. Work is in full swing to start the first turbines in 2022. In this news item, we walk you through the planning for the upcoming period, so you know exactly what to expect when.

Looking back: collaborating with suppliers

At the end of last year, the permit for sites 3 and 4 became irrevocable. From that moment we were sure that we were allowed to develop the full Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm. Since then, a lot of work has gone into optimizing the design of the wind farm. We have also concluded large contracts with, among others, the Dutch company Sif Group, for the production of the foundations for the turbines, and TKF, also a Dutch company, for the production of the inter-array cable systems. For both companies, these are important contracts. This already shows the added value of Hollandse Kust Zuid for long-term and high-quality employment in the Netherlands and the region.

In addition to Sif Group and TKF, Vattenfall works with the following suppliers:

Siemens Gamesa for manufacturing and partial placement of the turbines 

Prysmian for manufacturing the inter-array cable systems.

Subsea 7 for installing the foundations and inter-array cable systems.

Swire Blue Ocean for installing the turbines.

Start preparation and corona

On June 4th, we took the final investment decision for the entire wind farm. A great milestone: this made all contracts final and made it possible to start preparing the production of parts. Read more about the investment decision here.

The corona crisis is having a major impact on the electricity market and on Vattenfall. Due to lare energy consumers shutting down their production locations, electricity prices have even been negative several times in recent months. Nevertheless, with the investment decision Vattenfall shows it is committed to this first subsidy-free wind farm and to the Dutch energy transition. We are fully convinced that Hollandse Kust Zuid is a profitable project.

Although the corona crisis has also presented challenges for the project team, people have continued working at home. The planning of Hollandse Kust Zuid has therefore not come under pressure due to the corona crisis.

The upcoming months

Research at sea will continue in the coming months. This means that we will further map the seabed with high-tech equipment. With this measurement data, we can determine the most efficient design of the foundations for the wind turbines. The search for unexploded ordnance – mainly from World War II – is also continuing.

Earlier this year, a mock-up monopile foundation was placed on the Maasvlakte at the Sif Group terminal. This full-size model has been used to complete a number of tests, such as installing the electrical cables. In this way, the suppliers of the project can thoroughly prepare themselves for a smooth installation of the cables and turbines in the North Sea.

Construction activities at sea from 2021

In the spring of 2021 we will start the first construction activities at sea. That is when the first series of foundations will be brought from the Maasvlakte to the wind farm area to be installed by Subsea 7. From that moment onwards, construction activities at sea will also be visible from the coast. The installation of the foundations will continue until 2022, after which the different turbine parts will be transported to the project by ship. Once the parts have been delivered, the construction of the wind turbines can start. For the installation of the turbines we will need about 12 hours per turbine, depending on the weather conditions.

Building the operations and maintenance base in 2021

To ensure that the wind farm generates green electricity for the next 25 years, we will be carrying out regular maintenance activities. That is why Vattenfall is building a new operations and maintenance base in the port of IJmuiden. Construction of these facilities will start in 2021. Around that time, we will also start building a temporary facility to support the construction of the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm. We will use prefabricated and mobile facilities, which can later be used in other places.

From 2022: first green electricity

At the end of 2022, the first turbines will start supplying green energy. A year later, in 2023, the subsidy-free wind farm will be fully operational. Upon completion, the Hollandse Kust Zuid wind farm supplies an amount of green electricity that is equivalent to the consumption of more than 2 million Dutch households.

Facts Hollandse Kust Zuid

• With an installed capacity of 1,500 MW, this will be the largest offshore wind farm upon completion.

• Electricity production equals the consumption of more than 2 million Dutch households.

• The wind farm consists of 140 turbines of 11 MW each, that will be installed at sea for the first time.

• Following government regulations, the maritime space between the turbines is open for passage and co-use.

• Operations and maintenance take place from Vattenfall’s new, modern maintenance center in the port of IJmuiden.

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About Vattenfall

Vattenfall generates and supplies electricity, heating, cooling and gas as well as offering customers a variety of sustainable solutions. Vattenfall want to achieve fossil-free energy generation within one generation. This Swedish energy company is investing heavily in wind energy to achieve this aim. We are working towards a sustainable world, for now and in the future.