Oil giant Shell, utility Eneco and contractor Van Oord have formed an all-Dutch consortium that is bidding in the Netherlands’ latest offshore wind tender.
The Witwind consortium has joined the 750MW tender for the Hollandse Kust South 3&4 zone in the North Sea, vying to build a wind farm without subsidies that will start operations in 2023, said a statement from the group.
Shell – which this week set out its stall to be the world’s biggest power company by the early 2030s – said it wants to “play an active role in the Dutch energy transition” through the wind farm, which will supply about one million homes from a site 20km off the Hague.
The December 2016 win by a consortium including Shell in the Dutch tender for the 680MW Borssele 3&4 zone marked a shock return by the oil group to offshore wind, marking the start of a ramp-up in the sector – and renewables generally – that has only gathered pace since.
Shell said in January it is laying the ground for a possible move to buy fellow Hollandse Kust bidder and compatriot utility Eneco.
Witwind joins Swedish energy group Vattenfall in the running for Hollandse Kust South 3&4.
The Dutch energy ministry in December said that it will opt for a subsidy free tender at HKZ, with applications open until tomorrow for the 110 square km of sea for wind development in water depths of 18-25 metres.
The Netherlands now has among the most ambitious offshore wind programme in Europe, with Hollandse Kust South 3&4 the latest in about 700MW batches of capacity due to be installed annually up to 2023, to be followed by 1GW a year until 2030.