Ecowende, a joint venture of Shell and Eneco, and Dutch maritime contracting company Van Oord will collaborate on the construction of the 760 MW offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust (west) lot VI, to be commissioned in 2026. The contract signing is scheduled to take place later this year.
As Ecowende‘s contractor, Rotterdam-based Van Oord will transport and install the foundations, as well as design, procure and lay the connecting cables between the wind turbines. Van Oord will also be handling the transportation and installation of the wind turbines at sea.
“The fact that Van Oord has been involved in the construction of all the wind farms in the Dutch North Sea means we have built up a wealth of knowledge over the years,” says Arnoud Kuis of Van Oord Offshore Energy. “We are happy to be working with the Ecowende consortium to bring all our experience on innovative, ecological, nature-enhancing measures to bear for Hollandse Kust West.”
Located 33 miles off the coast of Ijmuiden, a port city in North Holland, Hollandse Kust (west) lot VI will be the most ecological wind farm yet, with minimal impact on the natural habitat of birds, bats and marine mammals, and with a thriving underwater world. The aim is to enable the development of offshore wind farms with a net-positive impact in the near future.
Building a wind farm in harmony with nature is an important condition for eventually achieving the ambition of 70 GW of offshore wind energy by 2050, within the ecological limits of the North Sea. Besides reducing the negative impact of an offshore wind farm, it is also necessary to implement ecological measures that can contribute to the development of wind farms with a net-positive impact. To that end, Ecowende will implement various innovations, large-scale mitigation and stimulation ecological measures and an extensive monitoring and research programs above and below the water. For Van Oord, this also means a different approach to previous wind farms.
“In building the Ecowende wind farm, we are applying quieter installation techniques. The purpose being that this park and future parks can be built under stricter permit conditions,” says Arnoud Kuis. “Van Oord is also laying various types of nature-friendly rubble around the foundations. Reducing the footprint (CO2 and nitrogen) during the construction phase is being given maximum attention.
“Van Oord is investing heavily in installation vessels using new fuels, to make the industry even more sustainable. The yet-to-be-built installation vessel Boreas, which can operate on methanol, will be delivered in 2025. Ecowende will be one of the first projects of this green giant.”
Ecowende will monitor, investigate and adjust the effectiveness of this approach with various innovations and technologies.
“We take measures that have an immediate impact, but also many measures intended to try out new methods and fill knowledge gaps,” says Folkert Visser, CEO and project director of Ecowende. “We do not yet have all the knowledge on the effects of wind farms on nature. Precisely this knowledge is indispensable if we in the Netherlands want to grow responsibly in offshore wind energy and be an example for the rest of the world.”