Antwerp Port Authority seeks wind farm collaborator

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Antwerp Port Authority and the Left Bank Corporation are seeking a collaborator to build a wind farm on the left bank of the Scheldt.

A study carried out during the past few months has shown there is room for up to 55 wind turbines in the Waasland port (the port area on the left bank). This cluster will be the largest wind farm in Belgium on land. The actual number will depend on how the turbines can be reconciled with the port activities and air traffic. The first turbine could be built by 2012. No decisions have yet been reached on the possible locations of the wind turbines, as this will have to be settled in consultation between the future partner and the port users.

The Port Authority and the Left Bank Corporation have been working hard since the beginning of 2008 to promote wind power development on the left bank. The “Wind Plan” was completed in that year defining all the parameters to be taken into account for siting the turbines, such as birdlife, shadowing and high voltage lines.

With this Wind Plan as a basis, the collaboration is now in search of a partner to build the wind turbines in the Waasland port. The European tender procedure was launched earlier this week, and the partner is expected to be selected by summer 2011.

A cluster of 50 turbines represents an annual output of around 400 GWh, enough to supply 100,000 to 120,000 households. As such, the project would nearly double the present wind power capacity in Flanders.

The construction of wind turbines forms part of the action plan by the Port Authority and the Left Bank Corporation for developing renewable energy sources. The action plan in turn is an important element in the sustainability policy of both bodies for the entire port. Both wish to make maximum use of the potential on the left bank.

This potential has recently been confirmed by the Flemish minister of Energy Freya Van de Bossche who pronounced the port area as the most suitable location for wind turbines.