December 22 (Renewables Now) - The Dutch government's subsidy-free offshore wind tender for sites I and II of the Hollandse Kust Zuid zone has shown developers are ready to build the wind farm with a capacity of about 700 MW without government support.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made the announcement on Thursday, the deadline for submitting bids in the tender. The applications will now be assessed over the next several months.
The winner must bring the wind farm online by 2022.
"If these applications do indeed result in an offshore wind farm being constructed without any subsidy, it will be a huge breakthrough," said economic affairs minister Eric Wiebes. The number of applications was not specified. Swedish state-owned utility Vattenfall AB has said it is taking part in the tender. Norwegian oil and gas group Statoil (STO:STLO) has also confirmed its participation.
According to the ministry, the main criteria for selecting a winner are timely construction, the quantity of energy generation and sound risk management.
The Dutch government announced plans for the subsidy-free offshore wind tender in June, in the wake of a German auction where three of the four winning projects would be built without subsidies. The German wind farm, however, will have more time before starting operations.
The next offshore wind tender in the Netherlands will be for a 20-MW innovation project, Borssele wind farm site V. It will open on January 2 and close on January 18, 2018.