Vattenfall Green-Lights World's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Illustration courtesy Vattenfall

Published Jun 5, 2020 8:22 PM by The Maritime Executive

Swedish utility conglomerate Vattenfall has taken a final investment decision on the Hollandse Kust Zuid 1-4 offshore wind farm, which will be the largest in the world.

The 1.5 gigawatt farm will generate fully a third of the installed offshore wind capacity in the Netherlands when completed - enough power for two million households. The beginning of construction is planned for 2021, and the facility should be online by 2023. 

"The investment decision shows that our determination to deliver on our goal to enable fossil free living within one generation remains firm despite the COVID19 pandemic," said Magnus Hall, CEO of Vattenfall. 

The installation relies upon 140 giant Siemens 11-megawatt turbines to achieve its design capacity. The 11 MW turbine has a 650-foot rotor diameter with a swept area of over 30,000 square feet - more than the area covered by four soccer fields. (Siemens is already planning a bigger turbine with a 730-foot rotor and a capacity of 14 megawatts.)

Vattenfall's two leases for the Hollandse Kust farm are notably subsidy-free. It will be the largest wind farm in the world, and also the first in Europe ever permitted, planned and financed without state backing. However, state policy still plays an enabling role, as the Dutch government guaranteed the licence and the network connections in their tender. According to Vattenfall, this guarantee means that the project's risks -and thus the inherent costs - have dropped dramatically.