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Dutch seek comments on 2nd zero-subsidy offshore wind tender

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Dutch seek comments on 2nd zero-subsidy offshore wind tender

The Dutch government confirmed that its next tender for 700 MW of offshore wind projects in January 2019 will be open to zero-subsidy bids once again.

The country's economics and climate minister informed the Dutch parliament of the plans on Sept. 28 and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency is now seeking feedback on a draft tender proposal for sites three and four of the Hollandse Kust South wind farm until Oct. 10, according to the agency. Each site has a capacity of 350 MW.

Under the draft, developers will be able to submit bids without subsidies, which are then evaluated on other criteria including the companies' track records. If the tender does not produce an acceptable bid, the sites will be auctioned off with subsidies.

The country held its first subsidy-free offshore tender in March, with all of the 750-MW capacity on offer in sites one and two of the Hollandse Kust South zone going to Sweden's Vattenfall AB, which is aiming to develop them by 2022.

Economics minister Eric Wiebes told Parliament that the selection process for the auction will be tweaked to avoid a repeat of legal challenges that followed the winning Vattenfall bid in March, according to energy news website Recharge.

Since the first Dutch offshore tenders in 2015, Denmark's Ørsted A/S and a consortium including Royal Dutch Shell plc, Mitsubishi Corp.'s Diamond Generating Europe Ltd., Eneco Groep N.V. and Van Oord NV have also won permits and are building their wind farms, with the earliest set to come online by 2020.

The Dutch government currently plans to tender at least another 6,800 MW of offshore wind capacity until 2026.

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