Yesterday marked a milestone in the Netherlands’ long-term development plan for offshore wind energy. Following a competitive tender with 38 biddings, the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs announced that DONG Energy has placed the winning bid of 7,1591 euro cents/kWh and 7,3807 euro cents/kWh for Borssele wind farms I and II, respectively.

The bid of the Danish energy concern to construct the wind farms is substantially lower than the maximum amount of 12,4 euro cents/kWh (excluding connection costs) that was estimated for this tender. Over the forthcoming subsidy period of 15 years, the bid yields an average cost saving of € 2,7 million. The objective in the Dutch Energy Accord of 40 % cost reduction for offshore wind power in 2024 compared to 2014 has thus been amply achieved.

The Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs states that the reduction of cost was partly driven by the Dutch system, whereby companies have to participate in a competitive tender and the government is responsible for subsidies, project consents and grid connection, and provides for the relevant site data. Also, he indicated that benefits were brought by the favourable investment climate, due to the low interest rate, and the increasing interest of offshore companies for the generation of renewable energy instead of fossil fuels.

When commissioned, the Borssele offshore wind farms I and II will add another 700 MW to the 1,000 MW of offshore wind capacity currently operational and under construction in the Netherlands. Adding this capacity, will provide for electricity for around 1 million households. The contribution to the Dutch renewable energy targets is an estimated 12 PJ, being 0,6 % of the 14 % reduction target for 2020.

Further expansion of the Dutch offshore wind power generation capacity will follow when the Borssele III and IV tenders open in August 2016.

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