DNV GL has awarded the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl) with a certificate for the quality of its package of site studies for companies planning to compete in the tenders to build offshore wind farms at the Hollandse Kust (zuid) Sites I and II.
RVO.nl is the first governmental organisation in the world to receive certificate for offshore wind site investigations.
The tender round for Hollandse Kust (zuid) sites I and II, each with a capacity of 350MW, is expected to open in September 2017.
RVO.nl followed a quality assurance procedure for the Hollandse Kust (zuid) site investigations, including verification against applicable standards by a range of accredited certification bodies.
DNV GL verified the metocean study, the soil investigations and the morphodynamic study. The metocean campaign was verified by ECN. The archaeology study was verified by RCE, whilst the UXO report was verified by the Ministry of Defence. DNV GL was then asked to assess the overall package of site studies conducted, with a view to awarding an overarching certificate confirming the work has been conducted in line with industry best practice.
The objective of this final procedure was to validate the quality of all the site studies and to ensure overall high standards, completeness and consistency between them and ensure the whole package forms a suitable basis for the preliminary design of offshore wind farms.
Commenting on the DNV GL certification, Ruud de Bruijne, Project Manager, Offshore Wind Energy, RVO.nl said: “We are delighted to have met the criteria required by DNV GL to certify the quality of our site study package for Hollandse Kust (zuid) Wind Farm Sites I and II. The Dutch Government is determined to work with the wind power industry as effectively as possible to ensure the goals are achieved of our offshore wind power programme, targeting 4,500 MW of installed capacity by end 2023 and reducing costs by 40%. This certification illustrates our strong commitment to that end.”
In most countries, wind power developers themselves take on the pre-construction development risk and cost associated with site surveys and related studies required for final project designs and implementation. Also, government’s role is traditionally limited to the provision of market frameworks (regulations and incentives) and, in some cases, site allocation and overseeing the general calls for tenders/power project auctions.
In the Netherlands, the government assumes responsibility for site surveys, environmental impact assessments (EIAs). grid infrastructure and connection, as well as providing subsidy support and designating wind farm sites.
This approach by the Dutch Government has already proved successful, with the costs for implementing projects offered in the Borssele Wind Farm Zone tenders held in 2016 being amongst the lowest ever seen in the world, RVO.nl said, and for the Hollandse Kust (zuid) projects, emphasis on providing complete, high-quality site data has been increased even further.
“Following further consultation with the wind industry, we have taken the lessons learned from the previous Borssele tender rounds and significantly enhanced our site study procedures to ensure that companies can fully prepare the most competitive bids possible for HKZWFS I and II and truly optimise the design of their wind farms,” Ruud de Bruijne said. “Our improved approach not only reduces risk for developers even further, but sets a new standard of best practice for other governments to follow – one where proactive action by the Dutch Government means offshore wind power costs can be significantly reduced whilst quality of projects and local job creation remains high.”