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Netherlands to initiate 2nd zero-subsidy offshore wind tender this year

Wind turbines in Dutch waters. Author: Eneco. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

October 3 (Renewables Now) - The offshore wind tender for sites III and IV of the Hollandse Kust Zuid zone in the Netherlands, with a combined capacity of around 700 MW, will be launched at the end of 2018, according to the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Eric Wiebes.

Wiebes said in a letter to the country's parliament on Friday that the tender will be initiated this year under current legislation.

According to the letter, in view of the imminent change to the Offshore Wind Energy Act, it would be possible for a tender under the new regime to take place in the middle of 2019 at the earliest. As the industry has adjusted to annual tenders at the end of the year, the minister has decided it is important to continue this rhythm.

As with the tender for sites I and II of the Hollandse Kust Zuid zone, the country's first zero-subsidy offshore wind tender, the government will accept bids without subsidies. Again, if there are no acceptable bids, a tender including subsidies will be initiated. In March, Vattenfall AB was selected as the winning bidder in the Hollandse Kust I and II tender and once completed, this offshore wind park is set to become the first in the world to be constructed without subsidies.

A final ministerial order for the 2018 tender is expected by the end of October, according to the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO). The tender procedure is expected to open in January 2019, RVO says.

According to the minister's letter, limited changes have been made to the selection criteria, aimed at improving transparency and reducing the risks of objection and appeal procedures.

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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