October 27 (Renewables Now) - The Belgian government today announced a deal on the support mechanism for three offshore wind farms in the North Sea with a combined capacity of 716 MW.
The projects, the 224-MW Northwester 2, 246-MW Mermaid and 246-MW Seastar, will receive a price of EUR 79 (USD 91.5) per MWh over a period of 16 years, with a potential one-year extension in case of poor wind conditions.
These are the three outstanding offshore wind projects of nine that Belgium had committed to support. Earlier this year it was reported that State Secretary for the North Sea Philippe De Backer wanted to reduce the cost of the subsidies for the projects.
The government said the negotiated support represents a significant reduction compared to EUR 138 per MWh for the C-Power, Belwind, Northwind and Nobelwind wind parks.
The three projects will be constructed between 2018 and 2020.
Belgian offshore wind specialist Parkwind NV said the agreement with the authorities allows the Northwester 2 project to accelerate its development and prepare for financial close in 2018 and construction by 2020. Parkwind has a 46% stake in the project, with the other shareholders being Colruyt, Incontrol and TTR.
The Seastar and Mermaid projects are being developed by the Otary group, which includes eight Belgian offshore wind players.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.158)