Last week the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp, announced the maximum tender amounts and the subsidy floor price for the upcoming tenders for the two offshore wind power generation sites at Borssele, the Netherlands. He also clarified some other important tender conditions, like the bank guarantees required.

The Minister announced that for the two commercial tenders at Borssele, the maximum tender amount will be set at 12.4 Euro cent per kWh and that the SDE+subsidy floor price (the base electricity price) will be 2.9 Euro cent per kWh. The amounts exclude the costs of grid connection. Those costs will be borne byk the Dutch TSO, that will connect the projects at sea at 66 kV.

Each tender will be for 350-380 MW. It is not required to tender for the exact 350 MW. In the event that a sponsor elects to develop a project with a turbine type that cannot realise the 350 MW goal exactly, the project may offer a lower total capacity, but it should approach that capacity as closely as possible given the chosen technology. A higher capacity, of up to 380 MW, is also permitted, but the Dutch TSO cannot guarantee the offtake over 350 MW.

The subsidy will be "technology neutral" in the sense that the sponsors can indicate the number of full-load hours they expect to generate based on a wind report taking into account their chosen turbine make and type.

Other tender requirements are a commissioning - and operational plan and a financing plan, an equity of 10 % of investment cost and two bank guarantees. A first bank guarantee of 10 million Euro should be provided with the tender. In case the subsidy request is withdrawn by the winning sponsor within one year of it being awarded, a penalty of that same amount will be set off against the bank guarantee. Before the end of the first year, a second bank guarantee in an amount of 35 million Euro will have to be furnished to assure that the project wil be realised in time. Finally, the subsidy will start to run five years after the date on which it is awarded, so if commercial operation date is delayed the project will lose out on its subsidies.  

Just as a reminder: "banking" of unused subsidies will be permitted up to one year after the 15 year subsidy period. For the coming years, the Minister envisages to tender plots III and IV in Borssele in October next year and to have further tenders in 2017 and 2018 (both off the coast of South Holland) and 2019 (off the coast of North Holland). Each annual tender will be for approximately 700 MW. The expected maximum tender amounts for the coming years will be: 11.975 (2016), 10.75 (2017), 10.325 (2018) and 10.00 Euro cent per kWh in 2019. 

Lastly, the second tender on the Borssele plot, to be held next year, will include an "innovation plot" for two turbines with a combined capacity not exceeding 20 MW. That commercial tender will consequently not be for 700 but for 680 MW. The tender for the innovation plot will be held on 

different, innovation driven, criteria and probably some time after the first Borssele tender is completed