Massive Dutch wind farm to power 1 million homes, save €2.7 billion
The Netherlands awarded construction of Europe's largest offshore wind farm, at a cost of 2.7 billion euros less than the Dutch government initially planned. Construction of the 700-megawatt project at the Borssele site, 22 kilometers off Zeeland's North Sea shoreline, was awarded to Danish firm DONG Energy, Economic Affairs minister Henk Kamp announced on Tuesday. "Worldwide it has never happened before that an offshore wind farm can be built at such low cost. The Dutch system in which companies have to compete with each other while the government regulates all conditions for building the wind farm has proved to be very successful,” Kamp said. “This reduction of cost represents a major breakthrough in the transition to more sustainable energy.” The site is projected to produce 22.5 percent more electricity than the government previously thought. It should be completed in roughly four years. One million households will receive electricity from the location, the first of five massive wind farms planned near the Netherlands coast. Offshore wind farm construction and operation should create ten thousand jobs in the Netherlands, Kamp stated. The Borssele location is twice as large as the average European offshore wind farm, and produces more energy than the 630 MW London Array, currently the largest in Europe. Of the 38 bids, Dong energy came in with the lowest amount of subsidy needed in terms of price per kilowatt hour (kWh). Companies wanting the project could bid with a maximum price of 12.4 cents per kWh. The Danish firm won out with a bid of 7.27 cents. This should provide cost savings of 2.3 billion euros over 15 years, a press release from the Economic Affairs ministry stated.