Borssele EIA approved by independent EIA Committee

The EIA Committee has issued a positive advice on the environmental impact assessment for the first two planning decrees of the Borssele wind energy area.

The consulting and engineering firms Grontmij and Pondera Consult have worked assiduously over the last year preparing the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and appropriate evaluations of the first two planning decrees for offshore wind farms in the Borssele wind energy area. These are the first offshore wind energy projects that are subject to the new “Offshore Wind Energy” Act. The EIA Committee approved these new type EIAs yesterday.

In order to define the conditions for the planning decrees for the Borssele wind energy area, Grontmij and Pondera Consult have drawn up the environmental impact assessments (EIAs) and the corresponding evaluations. The planning decrees give the developers of offshore wind farms the flexibility to place wind turbines in the designated areas as they see fit. The entire bandwidth of possibilities for using the areas has been examined in the EIAs, for instance the various types of wind turbines, the foundations and the configuration options. The effects examined in the EIAs will be one of the factors used when the Minister of Economic Affairs sets the conditions in the planning decrees.

Both environmental impact assessments have been assessed by the independent Environmental Impact Assessments Committee. It is the Committee’s opinion that the information required to allow a full consideration of the environmental interests is present in both EIAs. Grontmij and Pondera Consult are pleased with this excellent result.

Contacts at Pondera Consult:
Eric Arends and Hans Rijntalder

More information:
EIA Committee website (in Dutch) –

Evaluation recommendations for the environmental effects report for Planning Decrees I and II for the Borssele offshore wind energy farms (in Dutch) –



Turbine construction started at wind farm Westermeerwind (NL)

On the 19th of august, the wind turbine construction started at the Dutch near shore wind farm Westermeerwind. The first tower sections are being installed on the foundations which were installed earlier this year.

The towers are transported from Amsterdam harbour, crossing the IJsselmeer to the project area near the Noordoostpolder. Once the transport arrives at the site the towers are installed on the foundations by Van Oord/Mammoet. First the lower tower section is placed onto the foundation. On top of that, the second tower section is installed. Over the coming weeks this process will be repeated 48 times.

In September, the installation of the nacelles will start. The nacelles are also transported from Amsterdam. The last step in the construction process is the placement of the rotors. These will be pre-assembled in Oude Zeug (near Medemblik) and transported across the IJsselmeer to the project area, where they will be lifted from the ship and installed on the nacelles.

The first electricity from the wind farm is expected at the end of autumn this year. The entire windfarm is expected to be fully installed by February 2016.

As the consultant for wind farm Noordoostpolder (Windfarm Westermeerwind is part of Windfarm Noordoostpolder) Pondera Consult prepared the EIA and permit applications and assisted with the formal procedures. Pondera Consult also assists Siemens with the permit management for wind farm Westermeerwind.

bouw turbines

Pondera Consult to assist the province of Zuid Holland with wind development EIA

The province of Zuid Holland will be preparing an EIA with the purpose of identifying alternative locations for wind energy development within the Rotterdam region in order to achieve the previously agreed target of 150 MW.

The suitable alternative locations will be incorporated by in the revised “Vision Space and Mobility” document by the Provincial Council, which is required step in the planning process.
Pondera Consult has been selected to assist the province with the preparation this EIA. More information (Dutch only) can be found at


Pondera Consult wins EIA tender for Wind Farm Zeewolde

Pondera Consult has been asked by De Ontwikkelvereniging Zeewolde and Windunie to support the entire EIA process for the Rijksinpassingsplan (national zoning plan) and necessary permits required to realise Wind Farm Zeewolde.

In the Zeewolde polder there currently are 220 solitaire wind turbines which will eventually be replaced by Windfarm Zeewolde, a wind farm of about 100 turbines. Wind Farm Zeewolde makes a significant contribution to the national and provincial target for onshore wind, and with the restructuring of solitary wind turbines to concentrated zones, the wind farm also contributes to the quality of the landscape in the polders.

Final permits and national zoning plan for Wind farm Wieringermeer

The three parties who are jointly developing Wind farm Wieringermeer (Nuon, ECN and Windcollectief Wieringermeer) have received the final permits for the planned 99 wind turbine wind farm in the Wieringermeerpolder.

In addition, the Rijksinpassingsplan (national zoning plan) has also been established. With this step, the wind farm has come closer to realization. Pondera Consult prepared the EIS, the necessary research reports and the permit applications for the wind farm.

Grontmij and Pondera to prepare offshore wind farms

Grontmij and Pondera to prepare one of world’s largest offshore wind farms in the Netherlands

7 May – Grontmij, a listed consulting & engineering company with a strong European presence, and partner Pondera Consult  will carry out preparatory studies for the call for tender by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs for allotments III and IV of the Borssele offshore wind farm. When completed, Borssele will deliver sustainable energy to 1.4 million households and will be one of the world’s largest offshore wind energy sites.

Grontmij and Pondera will draft environmental impact assessments and assessment studies for allotments III and IV of the offshore wind farm that is located just outside the 12-mile zone on the southern coast of the Netherlands. Studies will also be carried out for specification on an ‘innovation’ allotment; a separate plot decision will be taken for an area where innovations in turbines, foundations, construction methods and maintenance concepts can be piloted or tested.
The results of these studies will form an important basis for the Ministry’s call for tenders on the offshore III and IV lots scheduled for 2016.

In 2014, Grontmij and Pondera Consult were responsible for the environmental impact assessment and assessment studies for allotments I and II.

Marc Kreft, Senior Project Manager of Grontmij in the Netherlands: ‘We are very pleased that our involvement and successful collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Rijkswaterstaat, the agency responsible for Dutch infrastructure, has been extended through this new assignment. It is a confirmation that the Ministry recognizes our extensive experience in offshore wind energy.’

Borssele persbericht

About Grontmij

Grontmij is a leading European company in the Consulting & Engineering industry with world-class expertise in the fields of energy, highways & roads, sustainable buildings and water.
Our leading principle is Sustainability by Design. This enables our professionals to support clients in developing the built and natural environment. Established in 1915, Grontmij is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange.

About Pondera Consult

Pondera Consult was founded in 2007 with the ambition to contribute to sustainable solutions to energy, climate and environmental challenges. As a relatively new company founded on rich experience, we work with our clients towards the identification and realisation of renewable energy projects. Pondera Consult has extensive experience in the planning and development of large onshore and offshore wind energy projects.

Background ‘Wind Energy on Sea’

In the Netherlands, the recently passed Offshore Wind Energy Bill facilitates acceleration and upscaling of offshore wind energy generation by making licencing more flexible. First, land allocation determines where and under what conditions an offshore wind farm can be developed but imposes no specific requirements on the type of generation technology. In selecting sites, the interests of and checks and balances for the natural environment are integrated into decision-making. Once land is allocated, there follows the tender process, licence grant and subsidy award. The Borssele offshore wind farm is the first project to be executed under the new Bill. In the coming years, around 1,400 MW of energy will be generated in the Borssele allocations. This will result in a large offshore wind farm with a surface area of 344 km2 off the southern coast of the Netherlands. This new area is 12 times the size of the largest existing wind farm in the Netherlands. The Bill is an important step towards achieving the European goal of generating at least 14% of a country’s energy through renewable and sustainable techniques by 2020.

Life size visualisation screen

Life size visualisation screen- It’s all about the image

Visualisations are required for almost every spatial development, from industrial or urban developments to wind farms. They are usually presented to the public aspaper prints or using a computer screen. However, the main problem with many photo visualisations is that they fail to incorporate two important aspects of human (visual) experience of the outside world. Firstly, we relate what we see, to what we know from previous experience. In other words: objects we know to be large in the real world, should also be experienced as large in a photo. When this is not the case, we refuse to believe the picture is accurate. Secondly, we tend to focus on the actual wind turbines location when preparing visualisations of the project. Although this sounds reasonable, this does not take the human eye, and the way we experience the outside world, into account.

Experience how a future wind farm will look

Pondera Consult has developed an innovative visualisation screen which allows the viewer to experience how a future wind farm will look in the landscape from many viewpoints. By using a large (6×2.5 meters) curved screen, the panoramic images can be viewed in the correct perspective. The size of the screen also solves the ‘scale issue’: large objects appear large again, without the uncomfortable viewing distance necessary to achieve this on printed images.

Visualisatiescherm Eric

The real life visualisation set-up is interactive. Using a tablet the viewer can select a large number of  locations and view the panoramic image, thereby providing a full experience of the surrounding scenery.

Visualisatiescherm hand

Visualisatiescherm 2

Given that every project phase requires different information, we have developed a wide range of tools. In a location or feasibility study, a few concise visualisations can be enough. For a landscape study or EIA more is needed. We can produce a more elaborate study with viewsheds, video visualisations,  the real life set up  or even a 3D model.

Contact us

If you are interested or want more information, contact us by or phone one of our specialists Bouke Vogelaar or Paul Janssen on +3174 248 99 40.


Wind farm Westermeerwind

The Netherlands’ largest near shore wind power plant Westermeerwind is to be erected in lake IJssel along the dikes of the Dutch municipality of Noordoostpolder. The 48 Siemens wind turbines will supply approximately 160,000 Dutch homes with climate-friendly electric power. The project will thereby significantly contribute to the Netherlands reaching their climate-protection targets.

Pondera Consult/Wind Minds was involved in the project from its early development stage (from 2003) and was responsible for the Environmental Impact Assessment, all required permits and stakeholder management. Currently we are undertaking permitmanagement during the constructionphase.

For more information about the Westermeerwind Wind farm, click at the instruction movie.


Wind power seminar by ICEX/Spanish Commercial Office

Within the framework of the Renewable Energy Week, on 2 March the Commercial Office in The Hague organized an online seminar on wind power in the Netherlands, aimed at informing Spanish companies.

The seminar was introduced by the Spanish Commercial Counsellor, Enrique Fanjul. Hans Rijntalder, Director of Pondera Consult B.V. joined the seminar as a speaker and analyzed the developments and trends of the local industry and the main projects under development. Click here for the whole article.


Construction start of 4 wind turbines at Zuiderzeehaven

Construction of four wind turbines at the Zuiderzeehaven and Haatlandhaven in Kampen in the Netherlands will start by the end of January 2015.

Zuiderzeehaven C.V., as the consent holder of two turbine locations, asked Pondera Consult in 2011 to support them with the procurement process for the two turbines. The turbines will produce renewable electricity for approximately 8,000 households or about 28 million kWh from August 2015.

luchtfoto 2013 - aangepaste foto kleurrijk - klein