Pondera wins EIA contract for two offshore wind energy areas

Pondera Consult will do the preparations for lots VI and VII of the offshore wind energy area ‘Hollandse Kust (west)’ on behalf of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate. Pondera Consult has moreover received a similar task for lot I in the wind energy area ‘Ten Noorden van de Waddeneilanden’. A total of 2.1 GW of wind energy in the Dutch part of the North Sea is involved. The offshore wind farms are the fourth and fifth wind energy areas for which Pondera Consult will do the preparations, after Hollandse Kust (zuid) and Hollandse Kust (noord).

Pondera will manage the environmental impact assessment, the appropriate assessment and the assessment for the protection of species in the context of the nature protection law. The results of these studies are an important foundation for the decisions on the lots. These decisions on lots VI and VII in wind energy area ‘Hollandse Kust (west)’ are planned in early 2020, allowing for the start of the tender in 2021. The decision for lot I in wind energy area ‘Ten Noorden van de Waddeneilanden’ is expected to be made late 2020, which allows for the tender to start in 2022.

After the succesful collaboration with the ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and Rijkswaterstaat, for the wind lots in wind energy areas Borssele (1.4 GW), Hollandse Kust (zuid) (1.4GW) and Hollandse Kust (Noord) (0.7 GW), Pondera Consult was once again appealed to. “We are pleased to support the ministry and Rijkswaterstaat. These farms will add 2.1 GW of wind energy to the 3.5 GW  that is already being developed. These are impressive numbers, and we are proud to be able to contribute to that. We are working with several experts within Pondera, but we are also assisted by experienced professionals in institutes such as MARIN, Bureau Waardenburg, Waterproof, TNO and HWE. This varied team of driven experts has all the knowledge and expertise required to make this project another success.

Arcadis and Pondera collaborate on offshore grid permits and EIA

Arcadis, the globally operating design- and consultancy organisation for the natural and built environment, and Pondera, the specialist in renewable energy, will manage the permits and the EIA, including the accompanying studies, for two underground grid connections from the North Sea to the shore, on behalf of TenneT. The EIA and permits are about the connection of the offshore wind energy area IJmuiden Ver to TenneT’s natonal power grid. The offshore connection consists of two DC-connections, each carrying 2 Gigawatt (GW) of wind energy to the shore. Financial details are not disclosed, according to Arcadis.

Using an offshore converter station, cables on sea, and cables on land, the electricity will reach an onshore converter station, which converts the DC to AC, which can go onto the national power grid. In this way, the largest energy production capacity of the Netherlands will be connected to the power grid. These projects are a continuation of several other projects regarding offshore grid connections to Arcadis and Pondera.

Pondera Director Hans Rijntalder is excited: “This wind farm contributes to the sustainability of the Dutch energy supply. The challenge is to find a good balance between future-proof technical solutions, environmental effects, costs and spatial planning, together with the environment.” Managing Director Gert Kroon of Arcadis is proud on the good cooperation. “Pondera and Arcadis complement each other. This collaboration allows us to help TenneT meet their deadlines for their offshore wind planning.

Map of wind farms.
Map of the upcoming new wind farms in the Netherlands.

Official launch construction Wind Farm Fryslân

On March 14, 2019, Pondera’s CEO Hans Rijntalder, with representatives from Wind Farm Fryslân and the Zuiderzeewind building consortium with Siemens Gamesa and Van Oord officially launched the construction by pushing the button. The ceremony was held at the Afsluitdijk Wadden Center in Kornwerderzand to mark the official start of construction of the 382.7 MW Wind Farm Fryslân.

The ceremony was held in the presence of the developers, representatives of national, provincial and local government, and local citizens. The first activities include the installation of tubes for the cables that will connect the wind turbines with the substation at Breezanddijk. Zuiderzeewind will use local content where possible.

Wind farm Fryslân is constructed near Breezanddijk, south of the Afsluitdijk, in the northern part of the IJsselmeer lake. It will comprise 89 4.3 MW turbines. The wind farm is expected to become fully operational in 2021. The 382.7 MW wind farm will cover a large part of the target set by the province of Fryslân to generate 530.5 MW from wind energy by 2020.

During the same gathering, Windpark Fryslân B.V. also signed an investment agreement with the province of Fryslân. The province of Fryslân is intended to invest 100 million euro in the wind farm. The investment by the province will come from the revenues from a previous sale of shares in energy company NUON.

Pondera initiated the project in 2008 together with Ventolines. Until now Pondera was responsible for all development work, including feasibility studies, design, extensive nature research, permits, EIA, stakeholder management in close collaboration with Ventolines. At the Wadden Center Hans Rijntalder stated: “This ceremony also means that the development phase has now come to an end and the relay button is handed over to another team. A special moment indeed.”