The Netherlands approves Vattenfall's big repowering project

The replacement of 74 older wind turbines with 61 newer models will increase the Dutch facility's power output five-fold.
Photo: Windplanblauw
Photo: Windplanblauw

Repowering project Windplanblauw in the Netherlands is ready to be installed. The Dutch Council of State, Raad van State, has given Vattenfall and wind turbine owners' association Swifterwint permission to rebuild the wind farm, replacing the 74 1MW machines with 61 units with a combined capacity 250 MW. This will increase the annual power generation five-fold from 250-300 GWh to 1.2 TWh.

"This is an important milestone for the approximately 150 companies, residents and wind turbine owners comprising Swifterwint as well as Vattenfall," says Vattenfall's project leader Henk Kouwerhove, who says the task of replacing the hardware is set to begin in 2021.

"Preparations for the wind farm began around two years ago, and we're pleased to have been able to bring the facility one step closer to becoming a reality," Kouwerhove adds.

The project, located in the coastal province of Flevoland, east of Amsterdam, has attracted considerable opposition. A series of local residents in and around the town Swifterbant appealed to the Council of State, requesting the building permit be denied, particularly concerning the five southernmost planned wind turbines.

However, even though the council found no justification for halting the project, Windplanblauw is trying calm neighboring residents by promising due consideration.

"Throughout some time, we've been in dialog with the parties that submitted the appeal against the wind farm. Despite having received the positive ruling from the Council of State, we'll continue this dialog," says Windplanblauw Director Stephan de Clerck and continues.

"Windplanblauw wants to be a nice neighbor to the town. Our intention is to actively help improve the area's vitality – primarily around the town of Swifterbant – and we will not stray from that goal."

Specifically, Vattenfall and Swifterwint have received permission to install a wind farm rated around 200-300 MW. The initial plan, though, entails combined capacity in the middle of the range, as the project expects to deploy turbines with per unit ratings of roughly 4 MW. The turbine type remains unknown, as a public tender is currently being held and which will extend until the second quarter of next year.

English Edit: Daniel Frank Christensen

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