Noordzeker and Onze NoordZeeStroom aim for first Dutch cooperative offshore wind farm

Noordzeker, the partnership that wants to build and operate a wind farm in the IJmuiden Ver wind energy zone, is joining forces with Onze NoordZeeStroom (ONS), representing about 700 Dutch energy cooperatives.

Through this collaboration, both parties are taking an important step towards what could be the first cooperative offshore wind farm in the Netherlands, working towards affordable wind energy for the Netherlands.

ONS is an initiative of Energie Samen, the Dutch knowledge institute for citizen initiatives, governments and other partners in energy transition, and sustainable energy cooperative Windunie with the aim of realizing the first cooperative wind farm at sea. The parties are connected to the cooperative energy community in which some 700 energy cooperatives (with 120,000 members) are working on the energy future of the Netherlands. In the cooperative model, energy users are also (co-)owners of energy generation. Offshore wind is an is an important additional source to meet local energy demand, says Siward Zomer, chairman of Energie Samen. “We are currently discussing with Noordzeker the various forms of local participation, including an equity stake in the wind farm and control over part of the power. This is an incredibly important step towards citizen participation as a fixed tender criterion.”

According to Pascal Weijers, general manager of Windunie, energy should not only be sustainable but also benefit everyone. This partnership ensures that through energy cooperatives, Dutch citizens and companies will directly benefit from the offshore wind farm.

For Dutch pension fund ABP, which together with pension investor APG and wind farm developer SSE Renewables forms Noordzeker, building and operating an offshore wind farm will not only ensure a good pension, but also affordable and clean energy for its almost 3 million participants and the Netherlands. Harmen van Wijnen, chairman of the board of pension fund ABP said: “By giving local energy cooperatives the opportunity to participate, we ensure that Noordzeker benefits not only our pension members but everyone in the Netherlands who wants to participate. Wind belongs to all of us and everyone in the Netherlands should be able to reap the benefits.”

Supporting the energy transition in the Netherlands is one of the spearheads of ABP’s new policy, and Noordzeker fits that ambition. Under the new policy, the pension fund plans to invest €10 billion in Dutch impact investments. Some of these should contribute to the energy transition in the Netherlands.

Together with the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Noordzeker wants to work on biodiversity at sea. Later this year, the government will announce which party will win the tender for IJmuiden Ver. Citizen participation is not included as a criterion in the IJmuiden Ver tender criteria. Noordzeker is the only partnership that is participating in this tender and is working on citizen participation. Source: Energy Together /ABP

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