The Dutch Administrative Jurisdiction Division of the Council of State has approved the Wind Farm Site Decisions (WFSD) for zones I and II of the Hollandse Kust (zuid) offshore wind project.
A number of appellants have opposed the construction of the wind farm, including Coöperatie Kottervisserij Nederland (VisNed), the Free Horizon Foundation, as well as local residents.
VisNed, who represented the local fishermen, claimed that the construction of the wind farm would lead to a reduction of area available for fishing. The Council rejected the argument due to calculations that the shrinkage of the surface would equal 0.26% and only for boats longer than 24 meters. Moreover, the fishermen have until 2021 to search for other locations.
The Free Horizon Foundation argued the location of the wind farm, suggesting that it should be constructed in the IJmuiden Ver area, which is farther away from the beach, thus clearing the view on the North Sea. However, the Council dismissed the objection claiming that the Foundation has no valid arguments, and referring to the transfer of the location as additional costs.
In addition, the Foundation claimed that the coastal municipalities will suffer major economic damage as a result of declining tourism due to the blocking of the free view. The Council stated that research has been carried out, including the worst-case scenario, which showed it is unlikely to occur.
The Council also pointed out that the construction and operation of the Hollandse Kust (zuid) I & II zones would generate new jobs in the region, and that minor negative effects are acceptable in regard of the importance of offshore wind energy and positive effects involved.
The projects planned under the Dutch Government’s current offshore wind program include 2,100MW at the Hollandse Kust zones. Of this, 1,400MW is planned in the Hollandse Kust (zuid): 700MW at sites I and II, and further 700MW at sites III and IV. An additional 700MW is planned to be tendered in 2019 in the Hollandse Kust (noord) zone.
In October, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs published the Ministerial Order for permitting offshore wind energy for the site, with the application period starting on 15 December and closing on 21 December.
The first phase of the tender will be based on the procedure without subsidies and companies will compete for a concession permit, while the contract is expected to be awarded in the first quarter of 2018.