Vattenfall has used the environmental cost indicator (MKI) method for the first time during the construction of its Nieuwe Hemweg wind farm in the Amsterdam port area. As a result, the construction of the wind farm has had far less impact on the environment than previously expected, the energy company stated in a press release today.
The method was used in the construction of the so-called Balance of Plant (all parts of the wind farm, except for the wind turbines). Each construction component was assigned a score for the impact caused during the entire life cycle of a project, such as CO2 emissions, toxicity, acidification or eutrophication, from the extraction of raw materials to disposal.
Adding up the scores of all the components gives a final figure for the expected social cost of eliminating harmful environmental impacts. The MKI scores were taken from the Dutch Environmental Database, which includes the environmental impact of many building materials.
Environmental impact reduced by a quarter
During the procurement, suppliers were asked to come up with suggestions on how to build more sustainably. In addition to the MKI value for their product, each contractor provided a list of five measures that would deliver the most reduction. Some measures focused on reducing the amount of material required, while other suggestions were about limiting the environmental impact (expressed in terms of the EQI value) of the material used. The latter included, for example, a different type of concrete that is more durable than the one prescribed, or the reuse of sand and foundation material.
Research on feasibility in other countries
Arthur Besse, head of onshore procurement: “The positive results achieved at the Nieuwe Hemweg show that the Dutch market is ready for sustainable procurement. This method gives us a good opportunity to combine costs and sustainability and we will use it more often, both in the Netherlands and abroad.”
At present, the Netherlands is the only country where Vattenfall works with the MKI method. This is because the underlying calculation rules have been drawn up for the Dutch market. In other countries where Vattenfall is active, comparable, broadly supported methods and tools are not yet available. However, the company wants to investigate how it can also give greater weight to sustainability in the procurement of its projects in these other countries.
Nieuwe Hemweg Wind Farm
The Nieuwe Hemweg project is located in Westpoort, the port area of Amsterdam, right next to the train depot. Eight old wind turbines were removed, making place for 6 new wind turbines. Vattenfall concluded a building lease agreement with NS for this purpose. NS therefore remains the owner of the site on which the turbines are located. The six turbines were supplied by the Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas. These turbines, type V100, have a tip height of 150 metres. The wind farm has an installed capacity of 13.2 MW.
The installation work started in November 2020. In December 2020, the 6 wind turbines were all built up. The wind farm is expected to be officially opened in the second quarter of 2021. Source: Vattenfall