Holland funds offshore ambitions with €19.5m grant

HOLLAND: Outgoing Dutch economics minister Maria van der Hoeven has awarded a €19.5 million subsidy for the Far and Large Offshore Wind (FLOW) innovation project as part of Holland's aim to raise its offshore capacity to 6GW by 2020.

Ongoing Dutch econmics minister Maria van der Hoeven signed off the subsidy

The budget will be spent on the first phase of R&D into efficient North Sea offshore wind turbines, foundation concepts, O&M strategies and installation methods.

The project plan also includes connecting these wind farms to the onshore high-voltage network.

The subsidy supplements a similar amount made available by the FLOW consortium, which German utility RWE, Dutch utility Eneco, transmission system operator TenneT, civil engineering and marine contractors Ballast Nedam and Van Oord, and shipbuilding group IHC Merwede.

Other companies include offshore wind turbine developers 2-B Energy and Chinese owned XEMC Darwind, energy research centre ECN and the Delft University of Technology.

Besides contributing towards realising a 6GW Dutch offshore wind capacity by 2020 and substantial green jobs creation, FLOW's aim is to build a leading position in the European offshore wind market.

Equally ambitious is its objective for a 20% "Far Shore" offshore wind power cost reduction by 2015 compared to 2010.

The second project phase envisages a 20 - 60 turbine demonstration wind farm (100 - 300 MW) aimed at validating new concepts developed.