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€3 Billion Dutch Offshore Wind Farm Boosts European Renewable Energy Market

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Sheringham_Shoal_Wind_Farm_2012_zps58b5dd23The European renewable energy sector is yet again reaching new heights. With Germany being a record holder in solar energy production, the competition is becoming more severe, with others craving a piece of the big pie too.

The Netherlands just announced a 3 billion Euros deal to construct the world’s biggest offshore wind farm that will generate enough electricity to cover the energy needs of 1.5 million people in the country.

The Gemini wind farm is a joint venture between the Siemens engineering group, which is part of Northland Power Inc, and an independent Canadian power producer. The most interesting fact here is that the total cost of nearly 3 billion Euros needed for construction will not be covered by the leading European utility companies that have established their grounds on the European wind energy market, but rather it comes from bank project financing. As Angus McCrone, the chief editor of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, stated, this is by far the largest renewable energy asset financial deal that the world has seen.

According to the contract, Siemens will be responsible for construction and maintenance of the 150 wind turbines for the first 15 years of operation. The farm that will erect in Groningen, a province in the north part of The Netherlands, is expected to have a capacity of 600 megawatts. This will be added to the 2.7 gigawatts of wind power (2.45GW comes from onshore farms) that the country is now generating, and bring the country a step closer to reaching their goal of producing 4.45 gigawatts of offshore capacity by 2023. By the way, ff all goes to plan, the farm should begin operation by 2023.

As far as the shares go, the biggest stakeholder is Northland Power Inc, having 60% of the shares, followed by Siemens Financial Services, who have 20%. The remaining 20% is equally divided between the joint initiative of 48 Dutch municipalities and six water regulatory authorities, and Van Oord, a Dutch dredging and marine engineering company, who holds the other 10%.

Image (c) Getty

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