Wieringermeer wind farm is officially opened today: “Largest in the Netherlands”

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WIERINGERMEER – After three years of construction, the largest onshore wind farm in the Netherlands will be officially opened this afternoon. Energy company Vattenfall has placed 81 new mills in the area, the last one to follow next year. Due to the corona crisis, the opening will mainly take place online.

Anyone who enters the Wieringermeer now cannot ignore it. From every angle you drive into the windmills, so to speak. “It is a special day”, says project director Ruben Lindenburg. “We are proud to be able to open the largest park this afternoon. We are building a total of 82 mills that generate electricity for about 370,000 households.”

Landscape

The arrival of the park caused a lot of discussion and the end result is not to everyone’s taste. There is a lot of grumbling in the Wieringermeer about the change in the landscape. “We know the criticism and I understand it”, says Lindenburg. “If you see what we have built in a relatively short time, then I understand that people have to get used to it. At the same time, our company’s mission is to live fossil-free in one generation and this fits very well with that.”

Construction has faced a significant challenge due to the corona crisis. With hundreds of employees in the area, the measures had to be carefully considered. Lindenburg: “We sometimes walked around here with 200 or 300 men and then had to keep our distance. This is especially difficult in cable trenches or in the windmill. And we had about 60 men from abroad walking around here. Europe closed, we asked if they wanted to continue working. Normally it was three weeks up, a week at home. And they did. Some have stayed here for three months in a row.

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Red lights

Not only the amount of mills takes some getting used to. When it gets dark, the white lights on the windmills turn off and the red lights turn on. The area is therefore jokingly referred to as ‘the red light district’. “I was in the area last night and it strikes me a lot. I understand that people have to get used to that too. We just have to adhere to the rules for aviation safety. That’s why those lights are on.”

In the meantime, the windmills are already running, especially on the east side of the Wieringermeer. “Because it is such a large project, not everything is done at once. We now have about 60 windmills in full operation. They are all already on the net. We are now entering the phase of testing to see if they are doing well. And then they will be fully operational “, says project director Lindenburg. He expects the work to be completed by the spring of next year.

Datacentres

When the mills start to supply power, some will go to the data centers on Agriport. “We supply our power to the national network via the new substation in Middenmeer. And everyone can purchase it. And in that sense we make no distinction between customers. Not everything goes to the data centers. We have about 40 percent left. That is electricity for about 150,000 households. “

The opening of the largest wind farm on the mainland in the Netherlands is this afternoon at 4 p.m. Then the definitive name of the park will also be announced. Due to the corona crisis, a meeting on location is not possible. The company has therefore chosen to present the opening from a studio in Utrecht. This can be followed online via openingwindparkwieringermeer.nl





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