Wind energy – general
BLIX Consultancy conducted a study into eight new areas in the Dutch North Sea, along with IJmuiden Ver (noord), Hollandse Kust (noordwest), and Hollandse Kust (zuidwest) Wind Farm Zones, to determine whether further investigation is warranted.
All but one of the eight potential post-2030 offshore wind farm zones in the Netherlands is expected to have a net lower Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE) compared to the IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone.
Together the search areas have the potential for 64.9 GW of new offshore wind capacity.
In the first stage of the study, indicative offshore wind farm (OWF) layouts within the search sites were used to determine potential LCoE and assess the impact of the main parameters analysed, such as size, shape, and orientation of the wind farms. In the second part, the locations of most of the search areas were amended and the impact of the grid connection system (GCS) was also factored into calculations.
Based on its’ modelling of potential sites within the new search areas (not including GCS), LCoE is expected to be 4-5.5% lower than for IJmuiden Ver, concludes the report.
“All wind farm zones in the new search areas are attractive from a cost perspective point of view and qualify for further assessment,” says the study. The average gross yields are substantially higher for the wind farm zones in the northern large new search areas (Zone 5,5 (mb), 6 and 7), it adds, although this is largely offset by higher wake effects, higher foundation costs, and higher turbine installation and maintenance cost.
The report also notes there is a large variation between the sites in these zones. Selecting only the most attractive sites or allocating the sites in a more effective way (taking the impact of the size, shape and orientation into account) will result in a lower average LCoE for these wind farm zones.
When factoring in GCS costs for the new areas – which gives a better indication of overall LCoE for projects – Zone 7 is less attractive. Zone 7, which is hoped to have 8 GW of offshore wind capacity and would require a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connection to the grid (similar to IJmuiden Ver), was found to have a net overall LCoE (OWF + GCS) 2.3% higher than IJmuiden Ver.
All other HVDC zones in the new search areas have a lower net overall LCoE, however, whilst the High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) zones Hollandse Kust (noordwest), and Hollandse Kust (zuidwest) have a significantly lower net overall LCoE (-16.1% and -12.7% respectively).
“The choice of export landing area has a significant impact on the GCS LCoE results. Deviating from the current base assumption that the sites will be connected to the closest landing area increases the GCS LCoE of the sites compared to the reference IJmuiden Ver A with +10% to +30%.” the study says.