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Van Oord completes installation of Belgium's largest offshore wind farm

The Dutch contractor installs the last of 44 MHI Vestas V164-8.4MW turbines at the 370MW Norther array

Dutch marine contractor Van Oord has completed the installation of the largest wind farm off Belgium’s coast – the 370MW Norther array.

The company has installed the last of 44 of MHI Vestas’s V164-8.4MW turbines, and said it has completed the entire installation ahead of schedule in less than nine months.

The entire installation scope included cable installation and burial, as well as the installation of the offshore high voltage station.

Belgium is currently on course to have 2.2GW of offshore wind in place by 2020. The small European country with a coastline of only 65 kilometres last year said it will open a new 221 sq km area at 34-40km offshore and adjacent to French waters to boost the country’s overall offshore capacity to 4GW by 2030.

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The plan came after Brussels in 2017 in negotiations with developers pushed down support for three projects under development to €79 per megawatt hour from €138/MWh previously pledged to the projects.

Van Oord deployed a wide range of equipment at Norther, amongst others offshore installation vessel Aeolus, the newest trencher Dig-It and cable-laying vessel Nexus.

Norther is a project of Belgian energy provider Elicio, and a joint venture between Dutch utility Eneco and Mitsubishi Corp. unit Diamond Generating Europe (DGE), that has Van Oord as main contractor.

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