RWE, EDPR and Macquarie form Dutch consortium

NETHERLANDS: Developers RWE Innogy and EDP Renovaveis have joined forces with investment firm Macquarie Capital to bid in the forthcoming Dutch offshore wind tender.

The 600MW Gemini offshore project is under construction off the Dutch coast

The consortium will bid to develop the Borssele I and II projects with a combined 700MW capacity. The sites form half the 1.4GW Borssele zone, located 22km off the Dutch coast in the North Sea.

Dutch authorities are expected to issue the call for tenders before the end of 2015 with results expected in the first half of 2016.

The make-up of the consortium will not be released until the companies have formed an agreed bid proposal, RWE said.

The new consortium has plenty of offshore experience to draw on. German developer RWE Innogy claims to be the third largest offshore wind operator in Europe with over 1.5GW in operation, and last week gave a final investment decision on the 336MW Galloper project off the UK's east coast.

Spainish developer EDPR is currently developing the 1.1GW Moray Firth offshore site in Scotland, and is part of the consortium developing the Iles d'Yeu et Noirmoutier and Le Treport offshore developments in France, totalling 992MW.

And in January 2015, Australian firm Macquarie Capital made a €720 million investment in EnBW's 288MW Baltic 2 offshore project, acquiring a 49.89% stake in the development. Macquarie is also part of the Blue Transmission consortium that owns and operates four offshore wind projects' transmission assets in the UK.

"The combination of the experience and the capability of the three companies forming the joint venture makes us a strong candidate in the upcoming offshore wind tender processes being launched by the Dutch authorities," said EDPR CEO Joao Manso Neto.

The Borssele tender is the first of five 700MW tenders to be issued by the Dutch government between 2015 and 2019 with a view to adding 3.5GW of offshore wind.

At the end of October, the Netherlands had 376MW of offshore wind capacity, according to WPO Intelligence, the research and data division of Windpower Offshore.

There are also two more Dutch projects under construction totalling 744MW: the 600MW Gemini project, and the 144MW Westermeerwind nearshore site, which exported its first power this week.