Wind blows strong for Belgian offshore wind farms

In: Windfarms
In 2020, Belgian offshore wind farms generated 6.7 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, representing 8.4% of total electricity consumption in Belgium or the electricity consumption of around 1.9 million families.

The installed capacity of offshore wind in Belgium increased by 706 MW to 2,262 MW in 2020. This represents a 45% increase in one year. This was attributed to the construction of the 219 MW
Northwester 2 and 487 MW SeaMade projects.

Northwester 2 project is owned by Parkwind and Summit Tailwind. The project will have a 25 year life span and is expected to supply enough electricity to power over 200,000 households. Parkwind led the project's construction and MHI Vestas holds a 15 year service agreement at Northwester 2 to maintain the 23 V164-9.5 MW turbines.

The SeaMade project is made up of two wind farms,
Mermaid and Seastar, and is located in Belgian waters approximately 40-50 km off the coast of Ostend, in water depths between 22 and 38 metres. The project is being developed by SeaMade NV, a joint venture of the Otary group (70%), Electrabel (Engie) (17.5%), and Eneco Wind Belgium (12.5%). The two projects consist of 58 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 DD turbines, each with an individual installed capacity of 8.4 MW, the last of which was installed in December 2020.

From 2021 onwards, Belgium's eight wind farms are expected to produce around 8 TWh of renewable energy annually. This corresponds to the electricity consumption of approximately 2.2 million families, which is almost half of Belgian households, or 10% of the country's total electricity demand.

“Wind energy at sea is a particularly important cornerstone of the sustainable energy transition in Belgium”,
says Hugo Canière, Secretary-General a.i. of the Belgian Offshore Platform. “Given the great importance of offshore wind energy in the European Green Deal and the European recovery policy, it is now more than ever time to speed up the further development of this technology, which can generate green electricity on a large scale and at the same time offer interesting economic opportunities, also in Belgium”.

Ministers have approved a memorandum for tenders for an additional offshore wind farms within the Princess Elisabeth Zone. The new wind farms will be built via a ‘smart public tender’, with the intention of subsidy free options, to be launched in 2023. Construction is dependent on the timely completion of onshore grid expansion projects and the creation of a second Modular Offshore Grid which will be completed in two phases in 2026 and 2028.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.

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