Noordzeker and Zeevonk II receive permits for the largest Dutch wind farms in the North Sea

Published on:
11 June 2024

The winners of the permits for the construction and operation of 2 new offshore wind farms have been announced. Noordzeker receives the permit for IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Site Alpha. The permit for the IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Site Beta goes to Zeevonk II. These are the largest Dutch wind farms in the North Sea to date. Combined, they provide 4 gigawatts (GW) of wind energy capacity. Both wind farms will provide for approximately 14% of current electricity consumption in the Netherlands. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) assessed the permit applications together with experts.

Most points based on qualitative criteria

Wind farm developers could earn points by showing, in their applications, to what extent they meet a number of criteria. In addition to a number of general criteria, the emphasis on site Alpha was on protecting and strengthening nature in the North Sea. For site Beta, developers could earn extra points by showing how they will better integrate the generated electricity into the Dutch energy system.

Noordzeker and Zeevonk II received the most points for their applications. Noordzeker is a consortium that consists of SSE Renewables, ABP and APG. Zeevonk II is a consortium that consists of Vattenfall and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners. Both winners came up with innovative solutions for these social goals.

Living laboratory

Noordzeker’s plan includes turbine and wind farm designs that contribute to the protection of birds. The plan also contains measures that significantly reduce disturbance to marine mammals during construction and operation of the wind farm. Noordzeker will not only build a wind farm, but also a ‘living laboratory’. More than 75% of the wind turbines in the wind farm will have artificial reefs. These reefs will provide a protected habitat for, among other things, reef-building sand tube worms and various types of fish. In this way, the IJmuiden Ver Alpha wind farm will increase biodiversity in this part of the North Sea. To this end, Noordzeker will also collaborate with Naturalis, the Dutch research institute for biodiversity.

Green hydrogen and offshore solar

In the IJmuiden Ver Beta wind farm, Zeevonk II specifically looks at the integration of the wind farm into the Dutch energy system. For example, the developer is building a 1 GW electrolyser in the port of Rotterdam. This electrolyser can convert electricity generated from the wind farm into green hydrogen. In addition, the wind farm will house the largest offshore solar park in the Netherlands. This new park will have a capacity of 50 MWp.

Financial offer

RVO and experts assessed the applications based on a comparative test with a financial offer. This means that developers also receive points for the amount they are willing to pay the state for the right to develop and operate the wind farm. Noordzeker will pay € 1 million a year and Zeevonk II will pay € 20 million a year, both for a period of 40 years.

The winning parties will also reimburse the costs for the environmental impact assessments and the offshore site characterisation studies (approximately € 40 million in total). The developers can use the data from the site studies to improve the design of the wind farm.

Attention to safety

Criteria in the areas of compliance with the International Responsible Business Conduct Agreement for Renewable Energy (Internationaal Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Ondernemen, IMVO) and circularity (maximum use and reuse of raw materials) also applied to both sites. Applications in this tender round were also assessed for safety for the first time. This assessment looked at risks to public safety (such as cyber security) and security of electricity supply.

"Noordzeker and Zeevonk II have great plans for these new offshore wind farms. It shows that wind farms and nature can go well together and that offshore wind with smart solutions can help reduce pressure on the onshore power grid. Market conditions have become more complicated, so I am extra happy that these parties want to build offshore wind farms!"

Rob Jetten
Minister for Climate and Energy

Making the Netherlands more sustainable

Both wind farms contribute significantly to making the Netherlands more sustainable. The 4 GW of power capacity that the two wind farms together have will make approximately 14% of the current electricity consumption in our country more sustainable. This means we will be less dependent on other countries for our clean electricity. And we are taking another big step towards a climate-neutral Netherlands in 2050. 

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Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
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