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World's Biggest Offshore Wind Development Opens in the Netherlands

10 May 10:00 by Steve Walia

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Officials from the Netherlands officially opened what is believed to be one of the biggest offshore wind developments in the world last week. Located in the North Sea, the Gemini Windpark has 150 turbines that are now fully operational.

The wind farm is located 53 miles away from the Dutch northern coast and will operate for the next 15 years, meeting the electricity needs of nearly 1.5 million people.

When wind conditions are optimised, the park will have a 600 MW capacity and be able to supply clean and green renewable energy to 785,000 Dutch homes.

Matthias Haag, the company's MD, confirmed that the wind farm was now fully in its operational stage. The project was first planned in 2010 and saw $3 billion of investment secured from a Canadian renewables firm, Northland Power, Van Oord (the Dutch maritime contractor), Siemenst Wind Power (the turbine manufacturer) and HVC (the waste processing business).

Haag explained that the creation of the offshore wind farm had been complex, primarily due to the logistics involved in locating it so far from the shore.

Gemini will now produce nearly 13pc of the Netherlands' total supply of renewable energy, along with a quarter of its wind power. Its output will help to slash carbon emissions by up to 1.25 million tonnes.

Holland is still largely dependent on fossil fuels, which represent some 95pc of its total energy supply, according to figures for the government's Ministry of Economics.

However, the country's government is committed to changing this and ensuring that 14pc of its total energy is derived from clean and renewable sources, such as solar and wind, by 2020 and then 16pc by 2023. The aim is to achieve complete carbon-neutrality by 2050.