RWE is participating in the Dutch offshore wind tender for Hollandse Kust West (HKW), and company has submitted bids for HKW sites VI and VII. HKW is a major part of the Dutch government’s ambitious build out target of 21 GW for offshore wind by around 2030. The VI and VII areas are located in the North Sea, about 53 km from the Dutch coast. Each site will deliver over 760 MWe of offshore wind capacity.
In addition, RWE’s proposed design for HKW site VI endeavours to have a positive net impact on the North Sea ecosystem; while its concept for site VII is intended as a blueprint for the perfect integration of offshore wind farms into the Dutch energy system, including an onshore electrolyser, capacity 600 MW, with access to storage capacity in the planned onshore hydrogen backbone.
Innovations are an integral part of the RWE bid for HKW site VI, to ensure that this offshore wind farm will be built and operated in harmony with the ecosystem. RWE’s design concept for HKW VI will mitigate negative effects on flora and fauna – above and below sea level – whilst taking significant steps towards ‘rewilding’ the North Sea. The company will build on its years of research at existing offshore wind farms and projects that are currently under development and construction, such as Kaskasi in the German North Sea. Innovations will be implemented to allow birds and bats to fly safely between the turbines and under the rotor swept area. And RWE intends to rewild the area by adding artificial reefs and floating gardens. This will enhance the habitat, strengthen the food chain, and thereby benefit all species, such as birds, fish and sea mammals. Safeguarding the ecosystem is also a key issue during construction: to minimise disturbance from monopile foundation installation, RWE will make use of special vibro piling techniques.
A further key element of RWE’s bid is to drive the knowledge of North Sea ecology by investing in a comprehensive Research & Development programme with leading partners. These will include universities and research institutes from the Netherlands, and will to foster local research on innovations and businesses, including the creation of many new research positions. In addition, RWE envisages to set up a comprehensive multi-technology monitoring system at HKW VI, and undertakes to share knowledge widely and freely to enable all stakeholders in offshore wind to do as much for ecology as possible – creating a so called ‘living lab’.
Regarding its vision for the Dutch energy system of the future?, RWE has developed a blueprint for the integration of offshore wind farms into the system. To take a big step in the system integration of offshore wind, RWE will focus on combining the HKW VII offshore wind farm with 600 MW onshore electrolysers for green hydrogen production, supplying hydrogen and electricity to existing partners and new customers within Dutch industry. Furthermore, the company intends to integrate e-boilers for heating, battery storage and the charging of electric vehicles.