Ecowende, a joint venture of Shell and Eneco, is the winner of the permit for the second Hollandse Kust West (HKW) site, HKW Site VI, where the joint venture will build a 756 MW offshore wind farm with a special focus on nature.
The project, expected to be commissioned in 2026, will be built in North Sea waters more than 50 kilometres off the Dutch coast near IJmuiden and will comprise 54 wind turbines.
The offshore wind farm will produce enough electricity to meet approximately 3 per cent of the Dutch electricity demand annually, which is approximately equal to the consumption of one million households.
Same as the Hollandse Kust West Site VII, for which the permit was recently awarded to RWE, the wind farm at Site VI will be realised without subsidy.
For the HKW Site VI, ecological impact was included as an additional criterion in the assessment of the applications for the permit.
The design of Ecowende’s wind farm is ‘nature-inclusive’, including a section where wind turbines are widely spaced so that birds can fly between them safely. Furthermore, various piling techniques are used to measure and minimise the impact on marine habitats and marine biodiversity is boosted by placing reef structures on the seabed.
In order to test the effectiveness of this in the interim, an expert advisory group will be consulted and knowledge actively shared so it can be used for future wind farms, according to the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK).
New to the tenders for the Hollandse Kust West Wind Farm Zone is that the parties were asked to make a financial offer.
Together with the costs for the environmental impact assessments and location studies that are being paid by Ecowende, this yields about EUR 63.5 million. That amount is used to ensure wind farms are designed with due care to the environment and other activities in the North Sea, EZK pointed out.