Blowing together into the special tube, the turbines started to turn, inaugurating the Netherlands’ cleanest power plant. The Egmond aan Zee Offshore Wind Farm was constructed by Nuon and Shell on the initiative of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The wind farm has actually been operational since the beginning of this year and has exhibited excellent performance to date. Thanks in part to the stormy weather of the first three months of 2007, during which there has been a great deal of wind, more than 111 million kilowatt hours of electricity have been produced. This is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of more than 33,000 households.

During the official inauguration, Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven said: ‘Due in part to its demonstration character, this wind farm is contributing to the ongoing sustainability of energy supplies. It is contributing directly by preventing the discharge of 140,000 tonnes of CO2 on a yearly basis and indirectly by the research programme designed to further our knowledge and experience, which will therefore contribute to innovation. I am convinced that without the further deployment of offshore wind energy, it will be impossible to meet the present Government’s ambitious goals for sustainable energy. We must therefore put in place the procedures for licensing and subsidies that will bring about innovation and cost reductions.’

Shell Chief Executive Jeroen van der Veer: ‘We are concentrating on finding solutions to the climate problem. Wind energy is one option here. The onus is now on us to prove as quickly as possible that offshore wind energy is a profitable business so that we continue to invest in it’

‘Projects such as this demonstrate that the further sustainability of energy supplies is actually possible,’ said Ludo van Halderen, Nuon’s Board Chairman. ‘It is a lengthy process in which the right decisions have to be made at the right time in consultation with the authorities. This will help to bring us ever closer to problem-free energy supplies.’

Facts & figures about the wind farm

The construction of the Egmond aan Zee Offshore Wind Farm has been an exemplary project from various perspectives. The construction work was executed safely and was completed on time and within budget. The project itself was also completed on time and within budget. The wind farm comprises 36 turbines with a 108 megawatt design capacity, and the volume of electricity generated by these turbines corresponds to the average annual consumption of more than 100,000 Dutch households. The project involved an investment of more than EUR 200 million. The Offshore Wind Farm is managed by NoordzeeWind, a joint venture of Nuon and Shell. It was built on the initiative of the Dutch Government. Bouwcombinatie Egmond (BCE), a joint venture of construction company Ballast Nedam and wind-turbine manufacturer Vestas, was charged with the construction of the wind farm and the everyday operational management.

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For more information: André Romeyn +31 (0)70 377 8750