A map showing IJmuiden Ver Alpha site and SSE Renewables North Sea projects

SSE, Dutch Pension Fund Expect to Reach FID on IJmuiden Ver Offshore Wind Farm by Late 2025

SSE and APG (acting on behalf of Dutch pension fund ABP), which last month jointly secured the rights to develop the IJmuiden Ver Alpha offshore wind site in the Netherlands, now confirmed they are moving forward with the 2 GW project whose focus, in line with the tender requirements, is biodiversity.

A map showing IJmuiden Ver Alpha site and SSE Renewables North Sea projects
IJmuiden Ver Alpha site and SSE Renewables North Sea projects; Image source: SSE Renewables

The two partners, who own the project through the 50:50 consortium Noordzeker, expect to reach a Final Investment Decision (FID) by late 2025, with the wind farm then expected to be completed and commissioned by the end of the decade.

SSE Renewables will build the project on behalf of the Noordzeker consortium.

The consortium was one of the two that the Dutch government selected in the 4 GW IJmuiden Ver Alpha & Beta tender in June. The other site, IJmuiden Ver Beta, was secured by the Zeevonk consortium, comprising Vattenfall and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP).

For each of the two sites, the government set specific criteria, on top of those that were tender-wide, with the additional criterion for the Alpha site (secured by the Noordzeker consortium) being the contribution of the wind farm to the ecosystem of the Dutch North Sea and for the Beta site (secured by the Zeevonk consortium) the government put emphasis on system integration.

After being announced as the winner of the IJmuiden Ver Alpha part of the tender, the SSE-APG consortium said it would refine the 2 GW project before filing the decision on whether to progress development to the Dutch government, for which the winning bidders had four weeks.

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In its proposal submitted to the Dutch government, Noordzeker laid out plans to have more than 75 per cent of the wind turbines acting as artificial reefs that will provide a protected habitat for, among other things, reef-building sand tube worms and various types of fish.

To this end, Noordzeker will also collaborate with Naturalis, the Dutch research institute for biodiversity, with which the consortium signed an agreement in October 2023.

According to the government’s press release from June, Noordzeker will announce more details about other investments, innovations and research programmes no later than six months after the permit has become irrevocable – which has now started with the consortium’s confirmation to continue with the project.

As explained by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy last month, the winning bidders had four weeks to provide a bank guarantee or a deposit of EUR 200 million, confirming their commitment to develop the projects. Once they do so, the developers are then obliged to build the wind farms and make the other investments detailed in their bids.

Located about 62 kilometres off IJmuiden, the IJmuiden Ver Alpha project would be capable of generating enough offshore wind energy annually to meet around 7 per cent of the current Dutch electricity demand, according to Noordzeker.

The project marks the first-ever offshore wind farm SSE is building in the Netherlands.

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