Green light for Windplan Groen

© Windplan Groen

On Wednesday, 16 September, 2020, the Dutch Council of State announced that Windplan Groen, which provides for the installation of 90 wind turbines in Eastern Flevoland, can be realised. The Council ruled the appeals against the issued National Integration Plan and the environmental permits unfounded, except for one.

Windplan Groen is an initiative of a number of companies that are united in Windkoepel Groen. In October 2019, the Provincial Executive of Flevoland issued a permit for the integration plan that provides for 90 wind turbines in the municipalities of Dronten and Lelystad. The 90 turbines will replace the current 98 turbines.

The new turbines will have a combined installed capacity of between 300 and 400 MW. They will be placed in line arrangements. Of the 90 new turbines, 71 will have a maximum tip height of 249 m. 20 of these turbines will be developed by Pure Energie. Another 7 will have a maximum tip height of 220 m and 12 a maximum tip height of 156 m.

A total of 11 parties lodged an appeal against the National Integration Plan and the environmental permits with the Administrative Law Division. Residents and entrepreneurs from the plan area or its surroundings in particular were among those who lodged an appeal in fear of deterioration of the living conditions and the environment. They fear, for example, that the turbines will harm protected nature areas, such as the Natura 2000 area Ketelmeer & Vossemeer. They are also concerned about noise and shadow nuisance and feel that they are insufficiently informed during the process. Other parties stand up for the preservation of the Biddinghuizen glider airfield. A few parties fear the flight safety of general aviation from, among others, Lelystad Airport.

Noise and cast shadow
The appeal about the noise and cast shadow of all new wind turbines combined was declared well-founded. The Council of State itself made an amendment to the plan which establishes more clearly that the new wind turbines combined will not cause more cast shadow and noise on a sensitive object than is laid down in the national standards for noise and cast shadow.

Next steps
Windkoepel Groen can now continue with the preparations to dismantle the existing wind turbines, build the new wind turbines, and the selection of the contractors and component suppliers. Windkoepel Groen was recently awarded the SDE+ subsidy.

The project already has a transport indication from Liander in place. A new substation is however needed to get all the electricity connected to the grid. Windkoepel Groen is working on this together with national network operator Tennet and regional network operator Liander. The prefered location for the station is under the high voltage pylons between the Hoge Vaart and the Olsterpad, east of Dronten. The design permit for this substation was issued at the end of August and is currently available for inspection.

The organisation hopes to start the preparatory work on site in the course of 2021 so that the construction of the first wind turbines can start in the course of 2022. In addition, the organisation will also make the possibilities for financial participation by local citizens more concrete.