Large-scale floating solar, green hydrogen production systems planned for new Dutch offshore wind farm

The joint venture between Vattenfall and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP), which has been awarded the 2 GW IJmuiden Ver Beta offshore wind area in the Netherlands, will also build a floating solar farm within the offshore project site and install a large-scale electrolyzer in the Port of Rotterdam to use the electricity generated at IJmuiden Ver Beta to produce green hydrogen.

On June 11, the Dutch government announced the developers selected in the largest offshore wind tender in the country to date, which offered 4 GW of total capacity across two areas, IJmuiden Ver Alpha and IJmuiden Ver Beta. The permit for IJmuiden Ver Alpha has been secured by a consortium comprising SSE Renewables and AGP, which is acting as an asset manager for the Dutch pension fund ABP.

The tender contained several overall criteria, including a financial bid and environmental requirements, as well as area-specific criteria.

The joint venture between Vattenfall and CIP, named Zeevonk, made a financial offer of €20 million per year for 40 years and will also pay the costs of the environmental impact assessments and location studies of approximately €20 million.

For IJmuiden Ver Beta, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), which is leading the tendering procedures, set an additional requirement for system integration solutions.

In their proposal, Vattenfall and CIP laid out a plan to build a 50 MWp floating offshore solar farm at the offshore site, similar to what RWE plans to do at OranjeWind, a wind farm for which RWE secured the permit in the Dutch tender for Hollandse Kust West areas in 2022.

The floating offshore solar farm Vattenfall and CIP plan to install at IJmuiden Ver Beta will have ten times the capacity of the first such project at Hollandse Kust West Site VII.

“The introduction of a 50 MWp floating offshore solar farm is the next step in the development and further upscaling of offshore solar, compared to the 5 MWp floating solar farm that is currently [constructed] off the Dutch coast. Combining solar and wind means that the available space is used more efficiently. Another benefit is that solar and wind complement each other and are able to share the same grid connection, which results in a more efficient use of the power grid,” the Zeevonk joint venture stated in a press release issued after the results of the IJmuiden Ver tender were announced.

The two partners also plan to install a large-scale electrolyzer at the Maasvlakte in the Port of Rotterdam to produce hydrogen using the electricity generated at IJmuiden Ver Beta.

The electrolyzer will have a capacity of 1 GW and, since it will be built near the location where the offshore wind farm will be connected to the system on land, the electricity does not have to enter the national power grid first, which relieves pressure on the power grid.

“The Netherlands is taking yet another major step forward in the energy transition with IJmuiden Ver. Combining wind, solar and hydrogen, this project will create a state-of-the-art energy system and support further decarbonization of industries and our society. We are extremely proud to have been awarded this permit and look forward to implementing our plans for this energy park together with CIP,” said Martijn Hagens, CEO Vattenfall Netherlands.