Mitsubishi-owned energy company Eneco and Shell have won the rights to develop a new windfarm more than 30 miles off the Dutch coast, with the companies planning to incorporate innovations to improve its environmental impact in addition to enhancing performance.
Shell, which also makes gear oil and grease for the wind industry, established Ecowende as a joint venture with Eneco for constructing and running windfarms in the Dutch portion of the North Sea. Shell’s Director of Integrated Gas, Renewables and Energy Solutions, Wael Sawan, said about the new project:
“With Ecowende, we will take a huge step in growing our offshore wind portfolio while making a positive contribution to biodiversity. Through this project, we can profitably accelerate the large-scale roll-out of offshore wind in the Netherlands and beyond.”
When applying for the permit, applicants had to detail how they would deal with the environmental impact of the proposed wind farm. Ecowende claims it will set a new standard for ecologically developing windfarms in the North Sea, such that they will have a positive overall effect on their environments. For example, the impact that the foundations have on marine life will be minimised by using innovative techniques, while reef-like structures will help enhance biodiversity. Corridors for birds to pass through will also be created by placing turbines further apart.
The two companies have already made a final investment decision for the project, which is expected to have a capacity of around 760 MW when it comes online in 2026.