Vattenfall is building a new wind farm in the North Sea. This is the Hollandse Kust Zuid Wind Farm. You can find all information about the wind farm here.
Background: Climate agreements
The Dutch government wants to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. For this reason, they have entered into a number of agreements. The Energy Agreement (2013), the Paris Climate Agreement (2015) and the National Climate Agreement (draft: 2018).
One of the agreements is that, by 2023, 16% of the energy consumed in the Netherlands will be generated in a sustainable way. In 2017, the amount of energy generated in a sustainable way was 6.6% (source: CBS).
In order to actually realise this transition in energy supply, the government regards wind energy generated offshore and on land as playing a key role. Offshore wind farms are important as the wind is at its most powerful there and the wind turbines create the greatest output. By 2023, offshore wind farms will have to be supplying 4,500 megawatts (MW) of power. At present, this stands at 1,000 MW in the Netherlands.
The government decides where wind farms will be built and who will build them. One of the locations is Hollandse Kust Zuid. This site is 18 kilometres off the coast, in the area between The Hague and Zandvoort. The government has chosen this site due to the suitability of the seabed, the ideal weather conditions, limited depth of water and the proximity of the port of IJmuiden.
The area is subdivided into four parcels. In March 2018, Vattenfall won the tender for the first two parcels (approximately 115 km²). In July 2019, Vattenfall won the tender for the other two parcels (approximately 110 km²). This means that Vattenfall will be the owner of the largest subsidy-free wind farm at sea.
Hollandse Kust Zuid Wind Farm will be built without any government subsidy. This is something special, as it will be the first subsidy-free wind farm in Europe. The costs of offshore wind energy have dropped dramatically in the last few years due to rapid developments in the market. Vattenfall will be able to complete the project without the financial help of the government as the government guarantees the licence and network connections in their tender. This means that the risks involved, and thus the inherent costs, have dropped dramatically.
We will place 140 super powerful wind turbines at Hollandse Kust Zuid. Siemens Gamesa will supply us with the newest 11MW wind turbine. The government has decided that Hollandse Kust Zuid will be permitted to have a maximum of 252 wind turbines with a maximum height of 251 metres above sea level and a minimum capacity of 6MW. By deploying fewer and larger turbines, we increase efficiency and reduce costs and environmental impacts.
The offshore wind industry is a fast-growing market. The construction of the Hollandse Kust Zuid Wind Farm will provide additional employment prospects. These opportunities vary from geological surveys of the proposed areas and production of parts for the wind turbines, to the installation of the turbines and maintenance of the wind farm. We think that it is important that the regional economy benefits from the wind farm.
Nature and the environment
The licence issued by the Dutch government to Vattenfall includes regulations and measures that have to be taken to ensure that local ecology suffers the least amount of disturbance from the wind farm. These measures apply to both the construction period as well as the operational phase of the wind farm.
These measures are currently being concretized in both the wind farm’s design process and the way in which the wind farm will be built and operated. Vattenfall has a great deal of (inter)national experience in this field. For instance, the Egmond aan Zee Offshore Wind Farm is linked to a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation program: NSW-MEP. This program is carried out in cooperation with leading research institutions and focuses on ecology and technology. The results revealed higher porpoise numbers in the farm than outside of it. The wind farm proved to be beneficial for the Great Cormorant as well. Cormorants need to dry their feathers after fishing, which can be done easily at the windmill platforms.