In an important win for community-based wind energy, more than 200 farmers in a rural area east of Amsterdam have banded together to secure US$560 million from a multinational Dutch bank to build the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe.
Aiming to have its new, 322-MW wind farm up and running by 2022, reports Bloomberg Green, Windpark Zeewolde BV plans to replace more than 200 old windmills across the area with 83 new turbines to be supplied by Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S. The repowered, refurbished wind farm will be more than 200% larger than anything currently rivalling it on the continent.
Wind energy proponents are hoping the deal will encourage more local support for a sector that is currently experiencing headwinds elsewhere in Europe.
Local buy-in is certainly present across the rural farmland that will be home to the new turbines, writes Bloomberg, with the project including “90% of residents within 300 kilometres among its shareholders.”