Shell-led consortium to build 700MW offshore Dutch wind farm

Dutch Economics Minister Henk Kamp believes by 2020, some 10,000 jobs will have been created by wind farm projects (AFP Photo/ATTA KENARE)

The Hague (AFP) - A Shell-led consortium has won a bid to build a 700 megawatt wind farm off the southern Dutch coastline, the government announced on Monday.

It will create thousands of jobs and power an additional one million homes.

The consortium, which also includes a Japanese-based Mitsubishi subsidiary and several Dutch firms including energy company Eneco, outbid 26 others to build a park -- the second out of a total of five -- some 22 kilometres (13 miles) off the coast of the southern Zeeland province, a statement said.

The wind farm is part of five planned by the Dutch government by 2023, as it moves away from traditional power sources such as coal-fired and nuclear power plants.

"We believe that by 2020, some 10,000 jobs will have been created by these projects," Economics Minister Henk Kamp said in the statement.

The park, which will be built at an estimated cost of 300 million euros ($319 million) is "one of the largest wind farms in the world which has to be operational by 2023", the statement said.

"Each wind farm will have a 700 megawatt capacity -- enough to supply one million households of electricity," it added.

The Netherlands in 2013 struck a so-called "Energy Accord" between government, business, unions and environmental groups aimed at developing sustainable energy and slashing greenhouse gasses in the Netherlands.

Carefully negotiated between some 40 organisations, the Energy Accord will see the Netherlands produce at least 14 percent of its energy by sustainable methods by 2020, including through North Sea wind parks containing hundreds of wind turbines.

There are currently some 2,403 wind turbines in the Netherlands but only 289 are offshore four North Sea wind parks, according to the website.