The Netherlands Enterprise Agency announced on 10 July that Swedish energy company Vattenfall has won the tender for the second phase of the offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ) 3 & 4 in the Dutch North Sea. In September 2018, Vattenfall was granted permits to build the first phase, HKZ 1 & 2.

“This is excellent news for Vattenfall, our partners and the Dutch energy transition,” Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said. “It means a significant step for Vattenfall in view of our ambition to make fossil-free living possible within one generation and to grow in renewable energy production. The Netherlands is an important market for us and this will be one of our biggest offshore projects. We are looking forward to contribute with this project to the transformation of the Dutch energy system,” he added.

The wind farms will have a capacity of approximately 1.5 GW combined and will become the two first non-subsidized offshore wind farms in the world when commissioned.

Gunnar Groebler, senior vice president and head of Business Area Wind of Vattenfall, said winning the bid for Hollandse Kust Zuid 3&4 is a result of Vattenfall’s continuous efforts along the company’s entire value chain and the solid track record and portfolio approach of the company. “Adding to that, working collaboratively with our partners in the supply chain has enabled us to hand in a state-of-the-art proposal for this project. We can bundle now the projects Hollandse Kust Zuid 1&2 and 3&4 which is a great advantage leading to further optimization and synergies” he said.

Offshore construction is scheduled to take place in 2022. According to the tender rules, Hollandse Kust Zuid 3&4 needs to be fully operational within 5 years after permit have become irrevocable. In total, HKZ 1 – 4 will produce renewable energy to up to 3 million Dutch homes.

WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson said on 10 July this auction shows yet again that offshore wind is now very competitive – and is consistent with Bloomberg data that shows offshore wind is now the cheapest form of new power in North Western Europe apart from onshore wind. “The ‘zero subsidy’ system seems to work in the Netherlands, because the Dutch share a lot of the project risk, and it’s not hard for wind farms to find corporate buyers for the power they produce. But in most European countries offshore wind auctions need to offer stable revenues – and this reduces the financing and therefore the total societal costs,” Dickson said.

“The Dutch are doing well on offshore wind. They’ve a good steady auction plan of 700MW every year. They provide clear visibility of what they’re auctioning and when which helps reduce costs. They’re taking a strategic approach to grid investments – and a healthy long-term view of marine spatial planning aiming at happy co-existence between offshore wind and e.g. fishing and biodiversity,” Dickson said, reminding that their recent Climate Agreement sets a target of 11.5 GW total offshore wind by 2030. “They could actually do more than this and should do once they factor in increased electrification in industry,” he said.