The project will replace 93 old turbines with 100 new and more efficient ones, thereby increasing the capacity from 130 MW to between 300 and 400 MW and tripling the output to 1,000 GWh per year. This will make Wieringermeer one of the largest onshore wind farms in the Netherlands.
“The area is very suitable for wind power production as it is an open area with rather high wind speeds,” says Gerard van Oostveen, director for the Wieringermeer project.
“It is also quite sparsely populated and people who live there are in general used to wind turbines.”
The critical permits have now been approved, in the sense that they are final but not irrevocable, and the work to dismantle the existing turbines has started. The turbines were built in 2003 and have probably 10 years of lifetime left. Therefore they will be sold to other wind projects. A number of turbines have already been sold to companies in the UK and Poland.
“We will reuse other parts as much as possible, such as the existing park road and also recycle the material in the foundations for new foundations and infrastructure,” van Oostveen says.
The wind farm is a partnership where Nuon will own half of the turbines while the Dutch national energy research centre ECN and a coalition of local farmers will own the other half.
The construction of the new windfarm will start during the second quarter next year and is planned to be completed two years later, in 2019.