World’s first subsidy-free wind farm to be built by Vattenfall

Vattenfall has won the right to develop the world’s first wind farm with no subsidy after the Dutch government awarded the Swedish utility with the tender for a 700MW facility in the North Sea.

The company beat Norway’s Statoil (soon to be renamed Equinor) and Germany’s Innogy in the tender for the two 350MW offshore slots known as Hollandse Kust I and II.

Vattenfall’s Dutch subsidiary Nuon will build and operate the farm which is set to be completed by 2022, upon which it will provide electricity to one million households, said the Dutch ministry.

News of this tender actually follows the industry’s first zero-subsidy offshore wind tender in Germany last year, but the projects involved in those winning bids will only be built in 2024-25, after Vattenfall’s Hollandse Kust I and II is commissioned.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said: “This news shows zero-subsidy bids are possible for some developers in some markets not least where governments take on and manage a share of the project risk.

“In this instance the Dutch government taking care of the grid connection is a significant factor. Plus, the Dutch government has successfully minimised the risk linked to offshore wind by giving clear visibility about future market volumes.

“Wind energy is showing again and again that it can deliver ever more capacity for less cash. That’s the key message other governments should take from this: they should revise their ambition upwards in their national energy plans and offshore wind is a great way to help them do this.”

The project will help the Dutch government reach a renewable energy target of 16% of their energy mix by 2023.