Dutch Government: Several Bids In for IJmuiden Ver, 85 Pct of Tender Points Concern Qualitative Criteria

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) has received several applications in the 4 GW IJmuiden Ver Alpha and Beta offshore wind tender, according to the government agency which closed the application period at 5 p.m. (CET) on 28 March.

IJmuiden Ver Alpha and Beta sites; Image: The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)

RVO will now assess the applications in collaboration with two expert committees and expects to announce the tender winner(s) in June 2024.

The Dutch tender for the two 2 GW offshore wind sites in the IJmuiden Ver wind farm zone is a zero-subsidy one and consists of a comparative test (qualitative criteria) with a financial offer. 

In a press release issued on 28 March, shortly after closing the application window, RVO highlighted that the tender was based on points, with 85 per cent of the total number of points awarded to criteria with a social purpose. The remaining 15 per cent of points can be earned through the amount that a company is willing to pay for the permit to build and operate the offshore wind farm(s).

“It is not expected that the parties will offer the maximum requested financial bid. A financial offer is included in the tenders to ensure sufficient variation between applications. The winner is the party with the most points,” RVO states.

The qualitative criteria include environmental and system integration solutions, as well as international corporate social responsibility and circularity requirements.

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In the press release following the closing of the application period, RVO and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy noted that several applications have been received despite the current challenging conditions in offshore wind.

The Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy, Rob Jetten, said: “The wind sector is facing challenges such as recent price increases and high interest rates. I am pleased that despite these developments, several parties have shown interest in building these wind farms. These wind farms contribute to achieving our climate goals and energy independence.”

According to an update from Eneco and Equinor on 28 March, the partners’ application is not among these.

The two companies, which had teamed up to bid in the Dutch 4 GW offshore wind tender, withdrew from competing in the tender, saying the current approach to offshore wind was not future-proof due to deteriorated market conditions and that a Contracts for Difference (CfD) tender model would be preferred in these circumstances.

In a white paper shared on 28 March, Eneco notes that the financial bid requirement risks the costs being recouped through energy bills. The qualitative criteria are still there as they were in the previous few tenders, but in practice, they are less distinctive, Eneco states.

“At the same time, the government has offered the option to win the tender by submitting a significantly higher financial bid. Not a relatively low fixed amount, but a maximum amount of 420 million euros per year, for 40 years. The higher the amount a party bids, the more points are awarded in the assessment of their bid (up to a maximum of 15% of the score). If the financial component becomes even larger, the tenders will become much more like an auction than was the case until now,” the Dutch company said.

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The Dutch government has not disclosed which companies and consortia submitted applications in the country’s latest offshore wind tender, however, Swedish multinational energy company Vattenfall has announced that it is bidding for both IJmuiden Ver sites.

Vattenfall said that the plans for site Alpha focus on biodiversity criteria, while Beta is focused on system integration. The company filed the applications(s) under the name “Zeevonk”, which is the Dutch word for sea sparkle, a natural phenomenon that occurs as the plankton known for its bioluminescence illuminates the sea. The name emphasises the importance of biodiversity within the wind farm as well as the energy spark, “vonk” in Dutch, that is created by the electricity produced by a wind farm, Vattenfall said.

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The offshore wind farms at IJmuiden Ver Alpha and Beta sites are expected to be put into operation at the end of 2029 or the beginning of 2030.

The 6 GW IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone contains three sites, with IJmuiden Ver Gamma, the third 2 GW site, expected to be put out to tender in 2025. 


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