Borssele Story Not Over for Shell?

Royal Dutch Shell is considering bidding at the upcoming Dutch tender for 680MW Borssele III and IV offshore wind sites, according to Reuters

Photo: Navingo BV/ Illustration

The second Borssele tender will open next week (16 September) and close on 29 September.

The oil and gas giant took part in the Borssele I and II tender as part of a consortium also comprising Eneco and Van Oord, but the winning bid came from DONG Energy, which submitted the lowest bid with an average of 7.27 Euro cents per kilowatt hour, making the offshore wind project the cheapest worldwide, according to the Dutch government.

Shell’s participation in the first Borssele offshore wind tender was big news, as it emerged amid reports on oil and gas industry’s downturn, as well as the fact that the company mainly invested in biofuels in recent years.

The company already has some background in renewables as it owns stakes in nine operating wind projects in North America and Europe, including 50% stake in Noordzeewind, the owner of the Egmond aan Zee wind farm, the first large-scale offshore wind farm built off the Dutch North Sea coast. Last year, it became Principle Power’s technology partner for a floating wind energy project off the coast of Portugal. Shell is also one of the main shareholders of 2-B Energy, a Dutch developer of a new type of offshore wind turbine which utilizes two instead of three blades.

Lately, Shell is becoming more involved in the offshore wind sector. Aside from bidding for Dutch offshore wind farms, the company joined the offshore wind consortium GROW in June, which aims to bring the cost of offshore wind further down to seven eurocents per kWh by 2030.

Also in June, Shell announced it is setting up a New Energies division. Furthermore, the company showed strong interest in offshore wind energy by sending its “Election Manifesto” to the Dutch government in April, urging the next cabinet – to be elected in 2017 – to push for more offshore wind.

“Shell sees opportunities for the Dutch to accelerate the energy shift,” Reuters quoted Marjan van Loon from Shell as saying.

The minimum nominal capacity of the installation amounts to 331MW for Borssele site III and 351MW for site IV. The maximum is 360MW for Borssele III and 380 for Borssele IV.

The maximum subsidy amounts are EUR 2.4 billion for Borssele III and EUR 2.6 billion for Borssele IV.