The  Zeewolde project is a 320MW onshore wind power generation plant under construction in the Flevoland province of the Netherlands. It is one of the largest onshore wind farms in the Netherlands and the largest community-owned wind project in Europe.

It is a repowering project that will replace the existing 220 turbines located at the site with advanced, larger and higher capacity turbines. Upon completion, the power plant is expected to generate three times more green electricity with less than half the number of the existing turbines.

Windpark Zeewolde, a collaboration of over 200 local farmers, residents and entrepreneurs, is responsible for the development of the Zeewolde wind project, including the removal of the current turbines.

Construction on the project commenced in August 2020 and the last turbine was installed in March 2022. The wind power plant is expected to be completed by autumn 2022.

At full capacity, the  Zeewolde wind power project is estimated to generate approximately 850,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity per year, which is enough to power about 280,000 households It is also expected to offset about 500,000 tonnes (t) of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Location and site details

The Zeewolde onshore wind farm is located in the municipalities of Zeewolde and Almere in the Flevoland province, the Netherlands.

The project site occupies an area of more than 300km2 and lies nearby the inland bay Ijsselmeer.

Zeewolde onshore wind farm make up

The Zeewolde onshore wind farm will feature 83 Vestas-supplied wind turbines, with each turbine having an average capacity of approximately 3.9MW. The turbines will comprise a combination of variants of 2MW and 4MW platforms produced by the Danish company.

The axle height of each turbine will be in the range of 90m to 150m with a rotor diameter of about 100m to 140m. The wind turbines will be designed with a tip height of approximately 220m.

Power evacuation

The electricity generated from the Windpark Zeewolde onshore wind farm will be evacuated to the national high voltage network of TenneT through a 6.5km-long 150kV power transmission line.

Power purchase agreement

Vattenfall signed a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) for renewable electricity generated by the repowered Zeewolde onshore wind farm in April 2019.

Zeewolde wind power project financing

Rabobank provided financing for the construction of the Zeewolde onshore wind farm, through junior and senior debts of approximately €500m ($564m).

Nederlandse Waterschapsbank (NWB Bank) and the Danish export credit insurer Eksport Kredit Fonden (EKF) are the co-financiers of the project.

Contractors involved

Vestas was contracted to manufacture and supply wind turbines for the Zeewolde project in June 2020. The contract scope also includes a 20-year Active Output Management (AOM 5000) service to maximise annual energy generation.

Mott MacDonald was engaged to provide the lender’s technical advisory services for the installation of the wind turbines for the project. The company was also involved in the review of design, energy yield assessment, project management, environmental, and financial planning. It will also be responsible for the monitoring of construction and operation activities.

ABB was contracted for the construction of a 6.5km long cable connection between the power project’s substation and high voltage grid in April 2019. The contract also included the supply of two 240MVA transformers, switching and protection equipment, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system and structural facilities for the substation.

Aratis was contracted to deliver contract management services through the Project Information Management System (PIMS) for the balance of plant (BOP), park roads, the crane stands, foundations and park cabling along with the supply and installation of wind turbines.

WDG (Windcombinatie DuraVermeer-GMB) and its partner Van den Heuvel were contracted for 33kV cabling work. The scope included the installation of  330km of 33kV cable and 110km of sheathing for the fibre optic.

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright delivered advisory services to Windpark Zeewolde on the financing and development of the project.

Clifford Chance Amsterdam provided advisory services to Rabobank on the financing of the project that included structuring and due diligence on construction, operational, and regulatory requirements.

Pondera was consulted for the preparation of the scope, detailed memorandum and environmental impact assessment (EIA). Also, it supported in the appeal procedure to the Council of State.