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Netherlands to open next subsidy-free offshore wind tender in April

The Netherlands' fifth offshore wind tender, for the 700-MW-plus Hollandse Kust Noord 5 concession, will open April 2, 2020, and run to the end of the month, the Dutch government said Dec. 18.

As with tenders for Hollandse Kust Zuid 1 and 2 in 2018 and Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 and 4 in 2019, this latest tender offers no subsidy for the winning bidder, although the cost of connection will be paid for via consumer bills. The wind farm must be delivered within five years of permit award.

Cost efficiency and timeliness of delivery carry the greatest weight when ranking applications, Economic Affairs and Climate Policy Minister Eric Wiebes said in the country's state gazette.

Applications are to be weighted in part by capacity, with those offering between 740 MW and 760 MW favored over smaller proposals ranging from 693 MW to 740 MW.

Similarly, annual production forecasts of more than 3.3 TWh and delivery of 95% of the asset ahead of a deadline of 60 months from permit would also benefit an application.

Flexibility in the proposed asset's generation profile was another consideration, helping to reduce costs to consumers via "efficient use of the offshore grid financed by public funds and constructed by [transmission system operator] TenneT Holding BV," Wiebes said.

The permit for the last tender, Hollandse Kust Zuid 3 and 4 awarded to Vattenfall AB, was made irrevocable as of Dec. 9.

Other applications were made by Ørsted A/S; a consortium of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Van Oord NV and Eneco Groep NV; a consortium of Engie SA, Northland Power Inc., EDP Renováveis SA and Green Giraffe BV; and a consortium of Iberdrola SA and Macquarie Group Ltd.'s Green Investment Group Ltd.

Dutch offshore wind capacity is set to reach 4.5 GW by 2023, meeting approximately 16% of the country's power demand. A further 7 GW of offshore wind is expected to be tendered in the 2024 to 2030 period.

Henry Edwardes-Evans is a reporter with S&P Global Platts. S&P Global Market Intelligence and S&P Global Platts are owned by S&P Global Inc.