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Ecowende contracts Van Oord to build most ecological wind farm yet

Posted on January 1, 2024

Following the announcement about their collaboration, Ecowende is pleased to confirm that Van Oord has been contracted for the construction of the offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust (west) lot VI. Ecowende, a joint venture of Shell and Eneco, is determined to contribute to a sustainable future for offshore wind that positively contributes to the North Sea’s ecology.

As Ecowende’s contractor, Van Oord will be responsible for transporting and installing the foundations. Van Oord will also lay, connect and bury the cables between the wind turbines. Finally, Van Oord will be handling the transportation and installation of the wind turbines at sea.

Society needs offshore wind projects to meet its renewable energy targets

Building wind farms in harmony with nature is an important condition for eventually achieving these targets. Besides reducing the negative impact of an offshore wind farm, it is also necessary to implement ecological measures that can contribute to the development of wind farms with a net-positive impact. Ecowende and Van Oord will collaborate on implementing various innovations, large-scale mitigations and stimulating ecological measures. In addition, the parties will join forces in various feasibility studies and solution developments.

Noise mitigation

Van Oord will deploy its brand-new offshore installation vessel Boreas, currently being built, for the transport and installation of the foundations and turbines. To minimise the noise of the construction of the wind farm, Van Oord will deploy an alternative installation method for the foundations. A vibro hammer, using vibrations will drive the monopiles to their required depths. This will be the first large scale implementation of this innovative technique at a Dutch offshore wind farm. Van Oord’s cable laying vessel Nexus will be deployed for the installation of the connecting inter-array cables between the wind turbines.

Eco-friendly scour protection

The installation of scour protection is required to avoid the effects of erosion. This is achieved by high precision rock installation around the foundations. Van Oord has advised Ecowende on nature enhancing components in the design of the scour protection to help stimulate a diverse habitat for marine life. One of Van Oord’s flexible fallpipe vessels will be deployed to accurately and efficiently install the eco-friendly scour protection.

About the offshore wind farm

The Ecowende wind farm (Hollandse Kust (west) lot VI) will be located about 53 kilometres off the Dutch coast, near IJmuiden. The wind farm will have an operational capacity of approximately 760 MW, making 3% of the current Dutch electricity demand greener. Ecowende plans to have the wind farm fully operational and commissioned in 2026.


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