Construction work is still under way on the wind farm, but some of the turbines are already generating power. The wind farm will be extensively tested in the coming months. All 36 wind turbines have now been erected. The wind farm is expected to be fully operational at the end of this year and will supply enough renewable electricity for more than 100,000 households.
The Egmond aan Zee Offshore Wind Farm is an innovative concept. For example, the turbines – with a rotor diameter of 90 metres and a capacity of 3 Megawatt – are among the biggest in the world. The V90 wind turbine manufactured by Vestas has been specially developed for offshore conditions. The wind turbines require little maintenance, are very reliable and are controlled from land. Many new technological developments have been used, so the testing phase of this wind farm will be very intensive.
Further work to complete the installation will continue until the end of this year. A protective layer of rock is being deposited on the sea bed round the foundation piles on which the turbines have been constructed. At the same time the finishing touches are being put to the electrical connection between the remaining wind turbines and the transformer substation on land in the vicinity of Wijk aan Zee.
Offshore wind energy will be one of the most important sources of renewable energy in the Netherlands. According to the Ministry of Economic Affairs the sustainability target for 2020 will have to be achieved mainly through offshore wind and bio-cogeneration plants (1). The Egmond aan Zee Offshore Wind Farm is a demonstration project initiated by the government and underlines the objective of the Dutch energy policy, namely to further develop wind energy. To analyse the opportunities and possibilities of this new technology, the project is linked to an extensive research programme, which aims to determine the effects in the area of technology and ecology.
The Egmond aan Zee Offshore Wind Farm consists of 36 wind turbines with a total capacity of 108 Megawatt. These turbines can supply clean electricity to more than 100,000 Dutch households. Using the wind farm will save around 140,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year. The Project is being realised through NoordzeeWind, a joint venture between Nuon and Shell. The wind farm is being built by Bouwcombinatie Egmond, a joint venture between construction company Ballast Nedam and wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.
(1) Innovatie in het energiebeleid, Ministry of Economic Affairs, April 2004
Noordzeewind, André Romeyn: +31 (0) 70 3778750