NCEA wants more clarity about the choice of location for 3 wind projects in Kapelle

The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment (NCEA) issued its assessment advice on the content of the environmental impact report for 3 wind farms in the municipality of Kapelle on 7 September 2020. Although the environmental effects have been described in detail, the Commission wants to get more clarity from the municipality of Kapelle about how the choice of locations was made.

The province of Zeeland has indicated a concentration area for wind energy near Kapelle. The municipality of Kapelle wants to enable the generation of more wind energy at 3 locations within this concentration area, and contribute to the province’s energy target.

Willem Annapolder, Kapelle-Schore and Landmanslust wind farms
The plan involves adapting the existing Willem Annapolder and Kapelle-Schore wind farms. Ten wind turbines have been running in the Willem Annapolder wind farm since 2003. Cooperative Zeeuwind U.A. wants to replace them with four new, larger turbines that together may have an installed capacity of more than 15 MW. Due to the large capacity, a project EIA has been drawn up. In the report, the preferred alternative consists of 4 wind turbines with a maximum tip height of 180 meters.

In the Kapelle-Schore wind farm, E-connection Project BV wants to replace the existing two wind turbines from 1997 in Kapelle-Schore with two larger ones. In addition, Windforce 11 BV wants to realise a new wind farm by placing two wind turbines at Landmanslust. All three projects go through an independent decision-making procedure.

The plan for the 3 wind farms does not fit into the existing zoning plan. In order to be able to realise these projects, new zoning plans must be established and environmental permits are required. An environmental impact report (EIA) has been drawn up. The Commission has been asked to assess the EIA and issued a recommendation.

Supplement to the report
According to the Commission, the detailed EIA lacks a part that it considers essential to allow for full consideration of the environmental interests when deciding on the wind farms. For example, the report does not describe whether other locations within the concentration area could also be suitable for new wind turbines. In addition, there is no concrete, verifiable production objective.

In addition to the report, the Commission recommends substantiating which choices led to the three locations. The supplement must show the size of the search area for wind energy, which parts are suitable for wind turbines, and exactly how much wind energy the municipality wants to generate. In this way, the most optimal locations are identified, says the Commission.

The municipality has announced that it will prepare a supplement to the report isoon.