Fryslan Wind Farm will generate enough energy to power 500,000 Dutch households a year. Credit: Casper van der Kloet / Windpark Fryslan.
The wind farm is expected to become operational in 2021. Credit: Casper van der Kloet / Windpark Fryslan.
The Fryslan wind power project will be powered by Siemens Gamesa’s 4.3MW turbines. Credit: Casper van der Kloet / Windpark Fryslan.

The Fryslan Wind Farm is a 382.7MW, near-shore facility being developed in the northern part of Ijsselmeer, also known as Lake Ijssel, in the Netherlands.

A joint venture between Windpark Fryslan (75.5%) and Provincje Fryslan (24.5%), the project a total construction cost of €850m ($1bn).

The wind farm is expected to generate approximately 1,500GW/h of clean energy a year, which is equivalent to roughly 1.2% of the electricity consumption in the Netherlands. Power generated from the farm will be enough to meet the energy needs of 500,000 households. Set to be delivered in 2021, the project is expected to offset approximately 800,000t of CO₂ emissions a year.

Fryslan Wind Farm location

The Fryslan wind farm is being developed near Breezanddijk, south of Afsluitdijk, in the northern part of Ijsselmeer lake and about 6km off the Frisian coast in the Netherlands.

Make-up of Fryslan Wind Farm

The wind farm will be powered by 89 Siemens Gamesa’s SWT-DD-130 turbines, each with a power generating capacity of 4.3MW, a rotor diameter of 130m and a hub height of 109m. The tip height of the blades will be 174m, and each turbine will have a swept area of more than 13,000m². The wind turbines will be arranged so that the whole wind farm will form the shape of a hexagon.

The turbines will operate at both 50Hz and 60Hz frequencies with a cut-in speed of 3m/s to 5m/s and cut-off speed of between 11m/s and 12m/s. All the turbines will be interconnected using approximately 70km of inter-array cables.

Construction details

Construction of the wind farm began in early 2019 after approval was secured from the Dutch Council of State in June 2018. By March 2019, pipes had been laid between Ijsselmeer and Breezanddijk via underground drilling. Power cables were laid between July 2019 and August 2020 to facilitate transmission of the generated energy from the offshore site to the onshore substation in Breezanddijk. Installation of the foundations was started in September 2020 and completed in January 2021. The installation of the inter-array cables was commenced in December 2020 and completed in February 2021. The final phase of the wind farm’s construction began in March 2021, with the installation of the first wind turbine. The rest of the turbines will be shipped, installed and tested between March and June 2021.

An artificial island next to the Afsluitdijk dam at Kornwerderzand was built using soil material from the IJsselmeer Lake in 2020. The island has 2ha of land area and 25ha of shallow water area, and is being used as a work platform during construction. Upon completion of construction activities, it will be transformed into a nature reserve and bird sanctuary.

Power transmission

Power generated from the Fryslan wind farm will be transmitted using an underground 110kV onshore cable from the onshore high-voltage station at Kornwerderzand to the high-voltage grid in Oudehaske. The transmission line was built in two stages. The first stage was between the substation and Bolsward and the second from Bolsward to the high-voltage station in Oudehaske, near Heerenveen in the Fryslân province.

Financing for Fryslan power project

The financial closure for the project was realised through a senior debt of approximately €700m ($820m) in October 2019. The loan was provided by a group of ten banks including BNP Paribas, ABN AMRO, DZ Bank, BNG, Helaba, ING, KfW IPEX, NWB, KBC and Rabobank. The province of Fryslân made an investment of €100m ($109.08m) to become a shareholder, including €20m ($21.81m) in equity and €80m ($87.26m) in a subordinated loan. Residents of the province will be able to invest in the wind farm through bonds, once the project is completed.

Contractors involved

The Fryslan Wind Farm is being built by Zuiderzeewind consortium which includes Ventolines, Siemens Gamesa and Van Oord. Ventolines is providing project management services, while Siemens Gamesa is responsible for supplying and installing the turbines and building the onshore substation at Breezanddijk. Siemens will also provide maintenance and management of the turbines for 16 years from the date of commissioning. Van Oord is responsible for designing, fabricating and installing the wind farm’s foundations and cables. They are also supplying equipment to install the wind turbines.

Visser & Smit Hanab was contracted to connect a 25km-long, double-circuit transmission line from the wind farm to TenneT’s Frisian high-voltage grid. Green Giraffe provided financial advisory services for the Dutch wind farm project.

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