Calls for Noord Holland target to be cut by 40 MW after demise of Afsluitdijk project

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The recent demise of long-mooted plans for a 300 MW Inter-Provincial Windpark along the Afsluitdijk -- the huge embankment that keeps the North Sea out of the Netherlands -- has led the province of Noord Holland to request a 40 MW reduction of its installed capacity target. The wind farm was to have been built in waters of the Ijsselmeer and environmentally sensitive Wadden sea alongside the 32 kilometre Aflsuitdijk. It would have contributed 150 MW each to the installed capacity targets agreed by Noord Holland and Friesland. Following the rejection of the project plans by the Dutch parliament earlier this year (Windpower Monthly, April 2002), Noord Holland is requesting that its target of 205 MW installed capacity by 2010 be cut by 40 MW. Some provision for re-negotiating capacity targets in the event of the failure of the project was built into BLOW, the national covenant between central, regional and local government agreed last year. Noord Holland is now making use of that provision. Whether Friesland will follow suit is as yet unknown. A government spokesman says it had expected a request for a reduced target but it considers 40 MW too big a cut. NEWIN, the Dutch wind industry association, is disappointed by the province's action which it regards as unnecessary. According to NEWIN there are enough alternative sites within the province -- including the less environmentally sensitive waters of the Ijsselmeer -- for its target to be met. Further, NEWIN points out, the national target of 1500 MW onshore by 2010 will still have to be met, which means that if Noord Holland and Friesland build less capacity, other provinces will have to build more.

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