Of the eleven locations investigated to become the land connection point for the future Ten Noorden van de Waddeneilanden offshore wind farm, Eemshaven has been selected as the preffered choice. This draft regional advise was given to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy by 13 regional governmental bodies from the provinces of Friesland and Groningen.
The Dutch government is working together with grid operator TenneT, Rijkswaterstaat and regional parties to prepare for the realisation of the NOZ TNW wind farm, planned for 2026-2027. The wind farm is located in the proximity of Gemini offshore wind farm and will have a total power capacity of 700 MW. The wind farm is part of the Government’s Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap for new offshore wind farm between 2024 and 2030.
In January 2020, the 13 regional governments were requested to indicate their preferred alternative for the landing location for the high-voltage connection. When determining the preferred alternative, the 13 regional parties used five criteria; public support; support from local and regional stakeholders; spatial integration, environmental quality and environment & health; conflicting interests in future use of space and grid capacity and linkage opportunities.
The 13 regional partners prefer the connection to be located in Eemshaven. The province of Groningen has the ambition to have large amounts of green electricity to feed in the Eemshaven to increase the sustainability of the industry in the Eemshaven / Eemsdelta and as a stimulus for (green) hydrogen economy in the region. In addition, the Eemshaven is already an energy hub of the high-voltage grid at national level, which makes landing the green energy from the NOZ TNW wind farm a logical starting point.
The Eemshaven Oost route takes into account the local interests and scores well on the regional criteria in terms of social support and spatial integration & quality. TenneT and the Ministry of EZK, however, have indicated that this route does not seem feasible due to the technical complexity and the difficult licensability.
According to the 13 regional parties, Eemshaven West can be considered if certain preconditions are taken into account:
• A supported area process
• An area fund
• Corridor to prevent future disruption as much as possible
• Making HDD (horizontal) bores available
• To maintain the North Groningen coastal strip as a high-quality agricultural area
• Research into the impact of low-frequency noise
In addition, the partners also see opportunities with regard to the construction of the NOZ TNW, such as for nature development and sustainability in agriculture, connection with (future) parallel area processes, acceleration of hydrogen production, development of the Multi-year Energy Infrastructure Program, promoting regional programs and training, tackling regional bottlenecks in the energy network and construction of a corridor on the Wadden Sea.
Route Vierverlaten West is a fallback option for Eemshaven West, albeit under the same conditions, but is not preferred.
The final regional advice will follow in October. This autumn, the ministry will decide on the connection point and the cable route.