Offshore Windpark Q7-WP
Offshore wind farm Q7-WP is situated in block Q7 of the Dutch Continental Shelf at a distance of more than 24 km from the shore and in water with a depth of 20 – 25 meter. This is the first offshore wind farm to be realized in deep water and at a great distance off the coast. The spacing between the individual wind turbines is approximately 550 meters. For safety reasons the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment has closed off a zone of 500 meters surrounding the wind farm for all ships.
Windfarm: 60 x Vestas V80 – 2 MW offshore
Rated power of the windturbine: 2.000 kW
Rotor diameter: 80 meters
Tower height: 59 meters above mean sea level
Turbine supplier: Vestas, Denmark
Average net output: 435 million kWh per year
Green energy for: 125.000 households
Reduction of CO2-emissions: 255.000 tonnes per year
Wind farm Q7-WP is connected by 150 kV sub-sea cables to the grid at the 150 kV substation of Liander at Velsen.
Development phase concluded
On July 10, 2006, E-Connection handed over the project Offshore Windpark Q7-WP to the investors:
ENECO Energie and two other investors. The next day the investors signed the non recourse project financing agreement with Rabobank and Dexia.
Van Oord AZC (The Netherlands) was the main contractor for the installation of the wind farm.
The support structures of the wind turbines and the offshore high voltage station were manufactured and supplied by Smulders Groep (The Netherlands). Vestas Offshore (Denmark) supplied and installed the wind turbines. ABB (The Netherlands) supplied and laid the transport cables.
On shore construction started in November 2005 prior to the hand-over to the investors. First the 150 kV cables between the dune crossing and the substation at Velsen were laid and the connection to the grid at the Continuon substation at Velsen was realized. In 2007 offshore installation commenced. Early 2008 the wind farm was commissioned. On June 4, 2008, the wind farm was renamed Princess Amalia Wind Farm, after the eldest daughter of crown prince Willem-Alexander and princess Maxima.
Offshore Windpark Q7-WP is the first offshore wind farm in the world to secure a non recourse project financing. This was feasible thanks to the tax facilities for investments in wind energy granted to the project in 2002: Energy Investment Tax Credit (EIA) and Discretionary depreciation (VAMIL).
Offshore Windpark Q7-WP submitted the application for permit in December 1999. The Environmental Impact Assessment started in May 2000. The Environmental Impact Assessment report was accepted in August 2001, and the permit was granted on February 18th, 2002.
The permits for the offshore and onshore cable routes and for the dune crossing of the cables were granted in April 2002. No objections or appeals to the permits were submitted.
Financial support by the Dutch government
In September 2002 the investors signed the investment agreements under the condition that the tax facilities according to the Energy Investment Tax Credit (EIA) and the Discretionary depreciation (VAMIL) would be applicable for this project and that the MEP subsidy would be granted.
The MEP is a tariff per kWh for all energy produced by the offshore wind farm and supplied to the grid.
In June 2003 the MEP replaced another support scheme based on tax credits for the production and supply of renewable energy (“Regulerende Energie Belasting”). In 2007 the MEP was replaced by the SDE support scheme (“Besluit Stimulering Duurzame Energieproductie”). In 2001 the total investment in the wind farm was estimated at Euro 300 million. Thus in March 2001 a request for suspension of the ceiling of Euro 25 million per project of the VAMIL facility was submitted. It was not before December 2003 that this request was granted.
The application for the MEP subsidy was filed in October 2003 and was granted in April 2004. But in December 2004 the Ministry of Economic Affairs announced that all MEP grants would be reviewed to avoid possible over-subsidizing and/or violation of EU Guidelines. Although already in June 2004 the European Commission had confirmed that the project Offshore Wind Farm Q7-WP was not overly subsidized and/or did not violate EU Guidelines on national support of environmental projects the Ministry wanted to make its own assessment.
In February 2006 the Ministry finally confirmed the conclusion of the European Commission.
To reduce the visibility from shore and to reduce the effects on migrating and foraging birds offshore wind farm Q7-WP is situated at a distance of more than 20 kilometers from shore and in water with a depth of more than 20 meters.
As part of the permitting procedure an extensive Environmental Impact Assessment report has been drafted.
This report concludes that an offshore wind farm in deep water and at a great distance off the coast will have no negative impact on the ecosystem of the North Sea, on other users of the North Sea and/or on the environment.