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Shell eyes next tender for Dutch North Sea wind farm

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Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 22.18.50UTILITIES | Thu Sep 8, 2016 10:15am EDT

Royal Dutch Shell, which lost a bid to build a Dutch North Sea wind park in July, is interested in entering a second tender process opening next week, an official said on Thursday.

Marjan van Loon, Shell’s top executive in the Netherlands, told parliament on Thursday “the potential for wind energy in the Netherlands is really very attractive.”

A Shell spokesman could not confirm that Shell would bid on the 680 megawatt (MW) Borssele III and IV wind farms, but said it was studying the option.

The Dutch government awarded the first Borssele I and II 700 MW wind farms to Denmark’s Dong Energy, which bid at a record low price.

The tender for two additional offshore sites, Borssele III and IV, will have combined 680 MW output. It opens next Friday and runs through Sept. 29.

An additional three wind farm projects, Zone Hollandse Kust, with a combined 2,100 MW, are due to be tendered by 2019.

DONG’s winning bid was to produce electricity at 7.27 euro cents per kilowatt hour, excluding costs to connect to grid operator TenneT.

Van Loon said Shell supported a faster shift to renewables and less polluting fossil fuels, but that in the meantime gas remained the best option to meet Dutch energy demand.

“Shell sees opportunities for the Dutch to accelerate the energy shift,” she said. While DONG’s bid showed the cost to produce offshore wind energy had fallen sharply, it “needs to come down more if it is really going to be competitive.”

The entire Borssele project, with 1,370 MW capacity, is one of the biggest European offshore wind tenders in recent years.

(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Mark Potter)

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