On 17 October 2017 the Minister of Economic Affairs (‘MEA’) published its Ministerial Regulation on the permit granting procedure regarding the offshore wind energy Sites I and II Hollandse Kust (zuid) (hereinafter: ‘the Regulation’) (‘Regeling vergunningverlening windenergie op zee kavels I en II Hollandse Kust (zuid)’). The regulation will enter into force on 1 November 2017. An English translation of the Ministerial Regulation can be found here.

As we discussed in our earlier EnergyBit on this subject, this third tender (HKZ I and II) will start with a subsidy-free procedure. Only if no applications, or only non-qualifying applications are submitted, a second round (fall back) subsidy-based tender for future concessions will follow.

Application criteria

Article 4 of the Regulation provides criteria for the assessment of the criteria of Article 14 of the Offshore Wind Energy Act (OWEA). With respect to the financial feasibility criterion, the Regulation requires that the applicant's own assets shall amount to at least 20% of the total investment costs for the wind farm to which the application relates. This used to be 10% under the previous (Borssele) tenders.

Other than this, article 4 of the Regulation provides little more than references between article 14 and 23 of the OWEA. For the assessment of the technical feasibility (14(1)(b) OWEA), the wind farm design as required under article 23(2)(a) OWEA will be taken into account. For the assessment of the economic feasibility (14(1)(e) OWEA), the estimate of the costs and proceeds as required under article 23(2)(c) OWEA will be taken into account. For the assessment of the likelihood of it being possible to start the construction and operation of the wind farm within four years of the date on which the permit becomes irrevocable, the timetable proposed by the applicant, as referred to in Section 23(2)(b) of the OWEA will be taken into account.

Ranking criteria and ranking

Article 24(2) of the OWEA provides for the flowing ranking criteria:

a) the knowledge and experience of the parties involved; b) the quality of the design of the offshore wind farm; c) the capacity of the wind farm; d) the social costs; e) the quality of the identification and analysis of risks; f) the quality of measures to ensure costs efficiency

Article 5 of the Regulation provides that the respective weighting of the ranking criteria, as referred to in Section 24(3) of the OWEA, shall take place in accordance with the rating in points as set out in the Appendix. The higher the score, the higher the ranking.

In case two or more applicants are ranked equal, the respective weight of the criteria will be the deciding factor. In article 5 the assessment criteria are set out in descending order. The ‘heaviest’ weighing factor mentioned is based on the criterion laid down in article 24, paragraph 2, under f, of the OWEA and regards the quality of measures to ensure costs efficiency. Where, in application of the second to fifth paragraphs, two or more applications are still ranked equal, the criterion specified in Section 24(2)(a) of the Act shall have greater weight than the criteria specified in Section 24(2)(b) of the Act.

Application period

The application period for the sites HKZ I and II will start on 15 December 2017 and will close on 21 December 2017, 17:00h.