Shell and Eneco plan zero-subsidy Dutch offshore wind bids

Oil major and Dutch energy firm reveal tender bids with plans to improve the country’s energy system and protect biodiversity

Shell and Eneco own 20% and 10%, respectively, of the Borssele III and IV offshore wind farm in Dutch waters (pic credit: Van Oord)
Shell and Eneco own 20% and 10%, respectively, of the Borssele III and IV offshore wind farm in Dutch waters (pic credit: Van Oord)

Oil major Shell is teaming with Dutch energy company Eneco to bid in the Netherlands’ 1.5GW zero-subsidy offshore wind tender.

The Hollandse Kust West zone is located approximately 53km off the west coast of the Netherlands, and is divided between two 700MW sites: Site VI and Site VII.

Shell and Eneco are bidding for both sites. 

Bids for Site VI require investments for innovations that benefit the Dutch energy system, while bids for Site VII require ecologically beneficial measures.

A financial element is also included in these tenders, with participants securing points if they offer to pay the Dutch government for the project. A bidder can score maximum points if it offers to pay €50 million for the permit.

Shell and Eneco have formed two joint ventures (JVs) for the tenders – one for each site.

They will bid for Site VI through their SchakelWind JV. The partners explained that they hope to “set a new benchmark for the integration of offshore wind farms” and have a “net positive impact on the Dutch energy system”. They added that they intend to use unspecified innovations as part of their bid.

Meanwhile, they will bid for Site VII through their Ecowende JV. The partners stated that they aim to build offshore wind farms that have a net positive impact on nature. They hope to create a “flourishing ecosystem” that has a minimal impact on birds and bats and the marine environment. They are working with experts, and research and academic institutions to achieve this, the partners stated.

The two companies will face competition from SSE Renewables, as well as Vattenfall and BASF, which have also announced plans to bid in the upcoming tenders, which close on 14 May.

Shell and Eneco previously teamed together successfully in the Netherlands’ tender for the Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind farm.

Trade body WindEurope noted the inclusion of non-price criteria in the Hollandse Kust West auction, arguing that the tender will “recognise the wider societal value that wind energy brings”, especially in terms of protecting biodiversity and ensuring the smooth operation of the wider energy system.

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