Developer Windpark Fryslân has awarded a conditional contract to build a 383MW nearshore wind farm in the Netherlands that would be the largest yet to be constructed on a lake.

The deal for the project on the Ijsselmeer artificial lake went to Zuiderzeewind, a consortium of installer Van Oord and wind turbine OEM Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE).

SGRE in August 2018 had already been named preferred supplier for the €500m ($564m) Fryslân project, which is supported by the Dutch province of Friesland. A final investment decision is expected for the third quarter of this year.

The contract signed in Amsterdam foresees the installation of 89 of Siemens Gamesa's SWT-DD-130 turbines that each have a rated capacity of 4.3MW and a rotor diameter of 130 metres.

Construction is slated to start this year, with the wind farm expected to be fully operational by 2021.

The Ijsselmeer is a closed-off inland bay in the central Netherlands that after frequent devastating floods was isolated from the open North Sea in 1932 by a 32km dyke called Afsluitdijk, and since then has transformed into a large fresh water lake.

The Fryslân project is independent of the Netherland’s ambitious national offshore wind programme, and instead part of the province of Friesland’s own renewable energy target of 530MW by 2020.

Van Oord is responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of foundations and cables, and will deliver the equipment to install the Siemens Gamesa turbines.

The construction of the wind farm also includes the creation of a nature reserve island south of the Afsluitdijk, with a land area of 2 hectares and a submerged area of 25 ha. During the construction of the wind farm, the island can be used as a work platform.

At the same time, it will be developed into a bird sanctuary, providing additional quality to resting and foraging habitats for fish and birds.