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SSE and APG move forward with development of offshore wind farm in the Netherlands

09 Jul 2024

The pre-developed and fully consented 2GW IJmuiden Ver Alpha offshore wind site in the Dutch North Sea is a complementary and adjacent project to SSE’s existing North Sea offshore wind projects. Graphic source: SSE Renewables

Joint venture partners SSE and APG (acting on behalf of Dutch pension fund ABP) have today (9 July 2024) confirmed their ‘Noordzeker’ consortium (50:50 joint share) is moving forward with the 2GW Alpha offshore wind tender site in the IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone in the Netherlands.

Located about 62 kilometers off the Dutch coast off the port town of Ijmuiden, the IJmuiden Ver Alpha project would be capable of generating enough offshore wind energy annually to meet around 7% of the current Dutch electricity demand.

Subject to reaching a Final Investment Decision (FID), expected by late 2025, the wind farm would be commissioned by the end of the decade. SSE Renewables would build the project on behalf of the SSE-APG consortium.

Last month the Dutch Government awarded the Noordzeker consortium the rights to a pre-developed and fully consented offshore wind site in the Dutch North Sea.

The consortium is entering into the 40-year lease period for the Alpha site for an annual payment of around EUR 1 million. As part of the tender conditions, a performance bond has been posted, linked to on-time delivery of the wind farm. The consortium will reimburse the EUR 20 million cost for the environmental impact assessment and the offshore site characterization studies which were completed by Dutch authorities ahead of the tender. The consortium will use the data from the site studies to further progress the final design of the wind farm.

In addition to being fully consented, the awarded site also benefits from a confirmed grid connection to the Netherlands’ national grid which will be separately developed and constructed by Dutch grid operator, TenneT.

The Dutch Government’s competitive IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone tender was largely based on a ‘points-based’ qualitative assessment. Bid submissions for the 2GW Alpha site were invited to put forward proposals focused on making a positive contribution to nature. The Noordzeker consortium proposed an innovative and diverse set of measures that would reduce and mitigate ecological impacts while increasing biodiversity. These measures would help raise the ecological bar for the development, construction and operation of offshore wind farms in the North Sea. This ecologically sensitive approach to positively contributing to the Dutch North Sea’s environment could help ensure offshore wind is developed in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem, while positively contributing to the Netherlands’ decarbonization and security of supply.

The IJmuiden Ver tender marks SSE’s first seabed award in the established Dutch offshore wind market where the company sees significant and sustainable growth potential. The Netherlands represents a complementary and adjacent market to SSE’s existing North Sea offshore projects, with an established supply chain and a mature corporate power purchase agreement (CPPA) market. The Dutch Government has set a target of 21GW of offshore wind to be tendered by 2032, and a 50GW target by 2040.

The 2GW IJmuiden Ver Alpha project (SSE share 1GW) grows SSE’s secured offshore wind pipeline to 9.3GW and further progresses SSE’s ambition to grow its offshore wind business into carefully selected markets.

Stephen Wheeler, Managing Director, SSE Renewables, said:

We are pleased to be progressing development of the 2GW Alpha site in the IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone in the Netherlands with our consortium partners APG and ABP. Our successful bid is testament to the work the consortium and its partners have undertaken to put forward a compelling set of proposals to sensitively develop our proposed offshore wind project in a manner which will positively contribute to the marine environment while delivering a cleaner and more secure energy system for the Netherlands. We now look forward to collaborating with our consortium partners, Dutch authorities, supply chains and other stakeholders as we progress the project.

Delivery of the IJmuiden Ver Alpha project represents an opportunity for Dutch pension fund ABP (share 1GW) through pension investor APG to provide large-scale renewable energy at an attractive and stable price with a minimal carbon footprint and having a positive impact on climate and biodiversity. Noordzeker is an important impact investment for ABP, which is in line with its strategy to deliver EUR 30 billion of investments that pay financial and societal ‘double dividends’.

Jan-Willem Ruisbroek, Head of Global Infrastructure Investment Strategy, APG, said:

We are very grateful for the trust that Dutch authorities have placed in us. This is a big step for the Dutch energy transition and biodiversity in the North Sea. By investing directly in energy generation from renewable sources, we contribute to the pensions of millions of people in the Netherlands, and to a sustainable world also for our children and grandchildren.

About Noordzeker
Noordzeker is a coalition from and for the Netherlands, initiated by ABP, the largest Dutch pension fund, in cooperation with APG and SSE Renewables. Noordzeker takes the view that sustainable energy is a shared responsibility of and for all. The Noordzeker investment will provide more sustainable energy for the Netherlands, reduce dependency on fossil fuels, and will help build a greener future for Dutch society. Together with Naturalis, Noordzeker will be working on enhancing biodiversity at sea.