Offshore 100 MW decision soon

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The Netherlands' long-mooted near shore wind farm looks likely to be sited off the coast of Egmond aan Zee, says economics minister Annemarie Jorritsma. A final decision on the location of the 100 MW demonstration project was to be taken by the government in the first two weeks of December, Jorritsma told a renewable energy conference in Noordwijkerhout in November. Egmond aan Zee looks likely to be chosen ahead of alternative sites off the coast at Zandvoort and Ijmuiden because of an offshore power station's possible impact on tourism and shipping. An Egmond development would be located some eight kilometres from the coast, according to plans earlier presented by government agency Novem. The government hopes the project will provide the experience in offshore wind energy generation that will eventually lead to the installation of some 2000 MW in Dutch territorial waters and beyond. As such the government will be contributing NLG 60 million to the cost of the NLG 430 million project. To date three consortia have expressed interest in developing the project. Noordzeewind, led by utilities ENW and NUON, seems to be a particularly strong contender. With a cabinet decision on the location imminent, and reassurances by Jorritsma that remaining legal and planning hurdles will be cleared as soon as possible, construction of the project could begin in 2001.

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