The 487 MW SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated at an event at the Hippodrome in Ostend, Belgium on Wednesday, October 20, 2021.
SeaMade NV, a joint venture between Otary, Ocean Winds and Eneco, is responsible for the simultaneous development of the Mermaid and Seastar offshore wind farms, resulting in the largest wind farm ever financed and built in Belgium.
SeaMade includes 58 Siemens Gamesa 8.4 MW wind turbines which have been in operation since the end of 2020.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the North Sea Vincent Van Quickenborne, Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten, Vice-President of the Walloon Government and Minister of Climate, Energy and Mobility Philippe Henry, and the Mayor of Ostend Bart Tommelein attended the inauguration.
“Renewable energy is the future. It helps reduce our emissions and is also the cheapest form of energy today. Belgium is the world number two per capita in the production of offshore wind energy. We are strengthening our position with the new wind farm and, over the next few years, the federal government will continue to focus on expanding our wind power capacity. Our ambition is to provide all families in our country with green electricity ”, Prime Minister By Croo noted.
SeaMade is the second wind farm built in Belgium by the consortium of Otary, Ocean Winds and Eneco.
The wind farm is managed by Otary and, together with the Rentel wind farm, it provides almost 800 MW of offshore capacity in the Belgian North Sea.
All parties also want to continue to play a leading role in offshore wind energy in the next concession areas, Otary said. To meet the current objectives of the UN and Europe, the development of offshore wind is necessary. Belgium must continue to engage in this area and remain ambitious in its objectives for 2027 and 2030.
Belgium currently has 2.26 GW of offshore wind capacity in operation, which covers 10% of the country’s total electricity consumption.
“Offshore wind is not only good for sustainability and security of supply, but also has a positive effect on the Belgian trade balance” Mathias verkest, said the CEO of SeaMade & Otary.
“Thanks to this local source of energy, not only do we avoid importing fuels, but we can also export our know-how to continents such as Asia and America, where offshore wind power is booming. . I am happy to be involved in the first (C-Power) and the last (SeaMade) project, but above all I hope that the innovations and continued efforts of the whole industry will allow us to further exploit the potential of the North Sea and to meet our energy reserve needs. In this way, we can provide future generations with a sustainable future as well as clean air. Thanks to many innovations, offshore wind is not only a safe and clean source of energy, but also a cheap source of energy.
Offshore wind has become a crucial player in the energy landscape that needs to grow further with capacity that can double to almost triple over the next ten years, Otary said.
This can only be done with concrete and ambitious objectives set by the government and all players in the energy landscape. The government needs to create the framework for this in the current legislature. To ensure a successful energy transition, it is also essential that the government develops a long-term vision for the integration of sustainable but intermittent energy sources, for example in the short term through CRM, but more in the sense of storage , demand management, and longer-term power-to-x applications so that the full demand for electricity can be supplied at all times with sustainable energy.
Grid manager Elia still has an important role to play in finding sustainable solutions to open up the grid and thus allow the deployment of more offshore wind turbines as soon as possible, according to Otary.
“Ocean Winds, with ENGIE Electrabel, wants to play a pioneering role in the energy transition in Belgium, in which offshore wind plays a very important role. Our ambition is to have 1000 megawatts at sea by 2030, also in consortia like this one ”, Wouter Vandekerkhove, Deputy Managing Director of SeaMade and Country Director of Ocean Winds, a joint venture between ENGIE and EDPR, said.
As previously reported, Belgium plans to auction up to 3.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in the Princess Elisabeth offshore wind zone as part of its 2020-2026 marine space plan.
Vincent Van Quickenborne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the North Sea, said: “Belgian companies are pioneers in the development of offshore wind power. We should be proud of it. This latter farm alone can provide green energy to almost all West Flemish families. It is also the first farm to be built with significantly reduced subsidies. Offshore wind turbines are becoming cheaper and more efficient. This is why we want to continue this line for the Princess Elisabeth area.
If developed to full capacity, the Princess Elisabeth area will almost triple Belgium’s offshore wind capacity from 2.26 GW to 5.76 GW. Wind farms in the three designated areas: Noordhinder North, Noordhinder South and Fairybank will be connected to the mainland, and possibly to the grids of other countries, via an island of artificial energy.
“With offshore wind, we have shown once again that we can be as big as a small country” Tinne Van der Straeten, said the Belgian Minister of Energy.
“We will continue on this path with the federal government. We are tripling our offshore wind capacity, providing electricity from the North Sea to every family. We can do this thanks to the very first energy island in the North Sea, technological advancements and larger wind turbines. This is how we will transform our North Sea into one large, sustainable power plant.