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Netherlands leads in offshore wind energy

The Dutch research programme Flow is intended to give the Netherlands the lead in offshore wind energy. Plans have been drawn up for a demonstration wind farm located 75 km off the coast of Callantsoog, in the Province of Noord-Holland.

Flow stands for Far and Large Offshore Wind and was launched by a consortium consisting of energy companies (Eneco), wind turbine producers (XEMC Darwind, 2-B Energy), offshore industry contractors (Van Oord, Ballast Nedam, IHC Merwede), wind farm developers (RWE), research institutes (ECN, TU Delft) and Tennet, the company that manages the Dutch electricity grid. The plan was presented to Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Minister of Economic Affairs Maria van der Hoeven on 2 September.

Flow is intended to give the Dutch wind energy sector a leading position in offshore wind energy. It involves a major research programme focusing on foundation technology and other topics. The most striking element of the programme, however, will be a demonstration wind farm located 75 km off the coast of Callantsoog in the Province of Noord-Holland.

This will be the first wind farm constructed in deep water (30 to 35 m). It will have twenty to sixty wind turbines with a total output of up to 300 MW. That means that the Flow wind farm will generate twice as much electricity as the wind farms currently operated by Eneco and Nuon/Shell.

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