Testing floating PV, storage and hydrogen at Netherlands’ largest off-shore wind complex

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Anglo-Dutch energy company Shell and Mitsubishi-owned Dutch utility Eneco have won a government tender to construct the Netherlands’ largest wind power plant – the 759 MW Hollandse Kust (Noord) complex.

The project, planned in the coastal waters of the province of North-Holland, is expected to begin commercial operation in 2023 and will generate around 3.3 TWh per year.

Eneco said five technologies would be trialed at the site which could even out the energy generated by intermittent wind power, including a floating solar park, green hydrogen production, turbines adapted to minimize the negative ‘wake’ effect the structures have on each other and two forms of energy storage, one of which was described as “short-term.” No further details were provided on how the various pilot technologies would be integrated with the wind project.

Turbines

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State-owned enterprise agency and tendering authority the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (RVO) said the Hollandse Kust (Noord) wind project will be subsidy-free and will feature 69 Siemens Gamesa 11 MW turbines, each with a 200m rotor diameter, most of which will be sited more than 1km apart. “In principle, the space between the turbines is available for alternative uses provided these are compatible with the wind farm,” stated the agency.

Shell was one of Eneco’s suitors last year but lost out to Mitsubishi.

The Netherlands has two pilot offshore floating PV projects – an array planned in the North Sea, near aquaculture facilities and an offshore wind power farm; and a plant under development by a consortium formed by local research institute the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands, the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and Dutch sea-borne PV specialist Oceans of Energy.