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Shell and Dutch energy company Nuon have signed the final contracts for their joint collaboration on the first Dutch offshore wind farm, located at Egmond aan Zee, 22km off the Dutch coast. NoordzeeWind (a 50/50 joint venture between Shell and Nuon) awarded the construction contract to Bouwcombinatie Egmond, a joint venture between Dutch offshore contractor Ballast Nedam and Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas.

Thirty-six wind turbines with an overall capacity of 108MW will be constructed 10km off the coast of Egmond aan Zee. From the end of 2006, the wind farm will start generating sustainable energy, which Nuon will supply to the Dutch market. The project involves an investment in excess of € 200 million.

A comprehensive research programme designed to increase knowledge about offshore wind energy accompanies the project. This will study the effects of the farm on both nature and the environment, as well as the technical aspects, such as turbine behaviour and integration into the electricity grid. This will help to increase expertise for the construction of larger wind farms further out to sea.

The Dutch government is supporting the project financially under the Electricity Production (Environmental Quality) Act (MEP) along with a subsidy under the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ CO2 Reduction Plan. The Energy Investment Incentive facility (EIA – a tax allowance) also applies.
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