Test site added to Borssele zone

THE NETHERLANDS: A two-turbine test site has been added to the Borssele zone to help develop the Dutch offshore sector.

The 108MW Offshore Windpark Egmond aan Zee has been operating off the Dutch coast since 2006
The 108MW Offshore Windpark Egmond aan Zee has been operating off the Dutch coast since 2006

The government has given its permission for the test site to be added. TKI Wind op Zee, an organisation receiving government funding, will carry out a tender for the site by 2017. Operation is planned to start in 2020.

TKI is part of the Dutch top-sector policy, which aims to boost the Dutch offshore wind sector through research and development. It is looking to reduce offshore wind costs 40% by 2020, compared with 2010 prices.

Borssele's test site is located beside the 700MW first phase of main zone. TKI said the use of this "co-location" model means the test site can benefit from any data gathered for the main site and use the same grid connection. However, the test site remains "contractually... independent from the main project".

The Borssele zone lies in the North Sea, at the southern end of the Dutch Exclusive Economic Zone. It was approved by the government in March 2015. A tender to develop the first phase, made up of two 350MW projects, is expected by the end of this year.

In April, subsea specialist Fugro was contracted by the economic affairs ministry to undertake geotechnical site investigation of the Borssele site.

According to WPO Intelligence, the data division of Windpower Offshore, the Netherlands has approximately 375MW installed offshore.

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