Ecowende, a joint venture between Shell and Eneco, has won a bid to develop a 760 MW offshore wind facility at Hollandse Kust (west) VI in the Netherlands. The offshore wind farm, which is around 53 km from the Dutch coast, is slated to start operating in 2026. Once operational, it will generate enough clean energy to reduce carbon emissions by about 3 per cent of current electricity demand in the Netherlands. For the wind farm, Shell and Eneco have already made their final investment decision. According to the terms of the agreement, Ecowende will build and operate the offshore wind farm in Dutch waters with a focus on ecology.

The company intends to take a number of steps, like installation of the wind turbine such that it creates a corridor for birds to fly through. Ecowende will also use ‘innovative’ wind turbine foundation techniques to ensure that the project has the minimal impact on marine mammals and other marine creatures. In order to increase biodiversity, it also plans to build natural reef structures on the seabed.

In May 2022, Shell and Eneco agreed to work jointly on the offshore wind tender process for the Hollandse Kust (west) (HKW) VI and VII lots, which are located off the coast of the Netherlands.  The two companies would submit their bids through their two joint venture firms, Ecowende and SchakelWind. Ecowende would bid for HKW VI, while SchakelWind would submit an offer for HKW VII. HKW VI and VII, which are 53 km off the Dutch coast, would be able to meet 6 per cent of the country’s total electricity demand. Both facilities are slated to commence in 2026.

REGlobal’s Views: Offshore wind has become one of the most sought after renewable energy segment for large developers and investors owing to the current energy crisis and expected demand for clean energy in the near future. Europe is expected to witness a massive surge in offshore wind projects with countries ramping up their renewable energy expansion plans.