Pondera congratulates Eneco on award Maasvlakte 2 wind farm

Yesterday, Rijkswaterstaat announced the outcome of the tender for the Maasvlakte 2 wind farm. Pondera is proud and delighted that Eneco emerged as the winner. It means that Eneco can fulfil its plan to build a wind farm of over 100 MW on the seawall at the Second Maasvlakte. Pondera has been closely involved in the realisation of the bid. Pondera was the coordinator of the Plan of Approach and designed the optimum wind turbine layout for this location.

Pim Rooijmans, project manager at Pondera: “In the past nine months our very motivated team have gone the extra mile to win this tender. It was great to see the lengths that all parties involved went to in order to secure this wonderful project. We look forward to working with the same team on the EIA follow-up process, permits and tenders for the Maasvlakte 2 wind farm.”

The new wind farm will generate around 416 GWh per year in green energy, comparable to the consumption of 138,000 households. Eneco expects to start preparations for construction in 2022, so that the park can supply 25 years’ worth of sustainable energy by 2023 at the latest. From 2023, Rijkswaterstaat will purchase all the green energy from the wind farm.

Wind measurement campaign now even more efficient!

At the location of a future wind farm, measurements are often taken with a meteorological measuring mast or LiDAR to determine the local wind climate, which is necessary for financing and engineering of the planned wind farm. Given that measurement campaigns only last a year, or even less, it is necessary to compare the data with a long-term meteorological data set. During the short-term measurement campaign, for example, the wind speed may be slightly higher than the average for that time of the year. We often use ERA5 data from the preceding 15 years for this comparison. A disadvantage of the ERA5 data (and most other comparable data sets) is that, due to the time required for the verification process, the data is only available 2-3 months after the date. This results in a considerable delay in the delivery of the wind reports, which is certainly undesirable if the project is approaching financial close.

ERA5T, available since the beginning of December 2019, changes this by making the data available within five days. This allows measurement campaigns to be analysed faster, and it also makes them more flexible. For example, Pondera can now decide during the campaign whether the desired minimum uncertainty has been achieved and thereby advise whether the campaign can be shortened. This reduces the costs of measurements and increases the speed. In this way Pondera helps to make wind energy more affordable and faster to realise.


The original ERA5 model is a weather model from ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) and is based on historical weather data that models the weather around the world from 1979 to the present. In contrast to the ERA5 data, the ERA5T data from December 2019 has not yet been verified, but deviations from the final ERA5 data are very unlikely, according to ECMWF itself.


Pondera member of DeepWind cluster

Pondera is expanding its business to Scotland by entering into the DeepWind cluster. This coincides with the start of the close cooperation of Pondera and Pronewable, where Matthias Haag is project director of Neart na Gaoithe, and forms a ‘flying start’ of Pondera’s Scottish operations.

The push for closer engagement in the Scottish and other UK offshore developments is a direct consequence of the collaboration with Oldbaum Services, located in Scotland and a long term partner. Pondera is currently focussing on expanding its turbine & wind resource testing services and is keen to demonstrate its unique knowledge and experience based on over 10 years of Dutch offshore developments, as well as its knowledge as launching customer of the Haliade-X turbine, suggested to be a key workhorse for many future UK projects.

Webinar WRA HKN available online

Last week , Erik Holtslag gave a presentation on the Wind Resource Assessment for Hollandse Kust (noord), during a webinar which was organized by RVO.nl.

You can now watch the webinar online.

Hollandse Kust (noord) is a designated offshore Wind Farm Zone of about 700MW. The Wind Farm Zone lies 18 kilometres off the Dutch west coast and will provide enough electricity for over 1 million Dutch households. The Wind Farm Zone is one of six offshore areas currently being developed in the Netherlands.

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.

Wind in Vietnam: Dutch Opportunities

The opportunities for wind energy in Vietnam are looking very promising. Research by the World Bank estimates a total potential of 500 gigawatt, which is ten times Vietnam’s expected energy capacity in 2020. Areas with some of the best wind resources are located across the country’s long coastline or at sea. At the moment, Vietnam is mostly focused on onshore and nearshore wind energy.

Eric Arends, partner at Pondera Consult, conducted a baseline study earlier this year, on the opportunities for Dutch businesses and investors in Vietnam’s wind energy market. The research concluded that opportunities are plenty, even though the market in Vietnam is relatively in its early stages.

“European and Asian investors from for example South-Korea and China are keeping an eye  on Vietnam, especially because of the favourable wind conditions in the south-eastern part of the country. For offshore wind, not enough information is available on the wind climate and the seabed.”

In anticipation of a multiannual program, which connects Dutch knowledge with Vietnamese opportunities, Pondera Consult attended the Offshore roundtable on 23 November 2018. Eric Arends presented on the possibilities and future of offshore wind energy in Vietnam. He also discussed the opportunities for international, local and regional companies and investors. Eric recommended that the Vietnamese government develop a system for the controlled tender of offshore projects. The Dutch model, which has led to a large and fast reduction of costs, seems to be a good starting point.

“For the next ten years, both Vietnam and the Netherlands will see a period of strong renewable energy growth. Dutch experience in integrating renewables  into the power grid will be of great value to Vietnam.”

-Eric Arends, Pondera Consult

Vietnam’s future

In response to the baseline study from earlier this year, Pondera Consult was also invited to give a presentation on Dutch experiences at the ‘Scientific Conference on Renewable Energy and the Operation of the Electricity System’, organised by the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) in collaboration with the Vietnam Electricity Association and ICASA.

Pondera Consult (Eric Arends, left) at the conference

By the end of November 2018, there were 126 planned renewable energy projects in Vietnam, with a total capacity of almost 13 GWp. Only a small share of that capacity so far consists of wind energy. One of the challenges for Vietnam is integrating all that energy into the national power grid.

According to Ngo son Hai, Deputy Director of EVN, Vietnam will experience local overloads because of these new projects. This is due to the non-synchronous nature with which the Vietnamese power grid has been developed. Besides overloads, the quality of the energy grid can be affected (reliability, balance, harmonic distortion, etc.).

These problems will have to be resolved if the share of wind energy in Vietnam is to grow. According to the ministry of Trade and Industry, the goal is to increase the installed wind energy capacity to 6 GW by 2030, which is 2.1% of Vietnam’s total electricity demand.