A new wind farm in the Netherlands, Kost Zuid, provided power to the Dutch power grid for the first time on Tuesday. When construction is completed in mid-2023, the windmills will produce enough electricity for two million households, according to owner Vattenfall.
Hollandse Kust Zuid is the first subsidy-free wind farm in the Dutch North Sea. Vattenfall, BASF and Allianz pay for the construction themselves and are not compensated if the market price of electricity is low, as was the case with previous wind farms.
The wind farm is located 18 to 35 kilometers off the coast between Scheveningen and Zandvoort. In total, about 140 turbines will be installed on the wind farm, 36 of which have already been installed. “All activities will continue in the coming months, as the Dutch wind farm Kust Zuid steadily supplies more sustainable energy to the grid,” said a Wattenfall spokesperson.
It cannot yet say how many turbines will supply power this winter, because construction is highly dependent on weather conditions. Renewable energy will be sorely needed this winter to provide natural gas, as Russia continues to shut off the gas tap and gas prices are skyrocketing. In winter especially, the Netherlands uses a lot of natural gas to generate electricity.
The entire wind farm will provide about 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas on an annual basis, energy expert Martin Visser estimates. Next winter will be less. “But it’s still a huge contribution, even this winter,” says Visser. “Now we have to be careful with every cubic meter.”
Largest offshore wind farm in a while
When the wind farm is completed next year, Hollandse Kust Zuid will be the largest offshore wind farm in the world. It probably won’t last long: a wind farm is now under development off the coast of England that will be twice as large.
In the next ten years, the North Sea will become an increasingly important energy source for the Netherlands. Earlier this year, the Cabinet decided to nearly double offshore power generation in the long term. By 2031, there should be 21 gigawatts of wind farms in the North Sea, enough to power the entire Netherlands on a windy day.
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