Windparken Gemini

Permit granting for Gemini wind farms

Challenge

The Netherlands is going for sustainably generated power. As part of this sustainable power drive, plans were unveiled for two wind farms with a total capacity of 600MW in the Ems Estuary east of Groningen. In terms of capacity, these two wind farms can be compared to an average power plant.

The power that is generated is transported to the mainland through a cable. This cable runs through the Ems-Dollard treaty area and the Wadden Sea, reaching the mainland in the Eemshaven port area. The granting of a permit for this project involved three different government bodies, each with their own visions, procedures, and interests.

Antea Group was asked to compile one joint water permit for this project.

Solution

Three competent authorities were involved in granting the water permit:

  1. The North Sea division of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (RWS Noordzee) for the wind farms and the stretch of the cable in the North Sea
  2. The Northern Netherlands division of the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (RWS Noord-Nederland) for the stretch of cable in the Ems-Dollard treaty area and the Wadden Sea
  3. Noorderzijlvest Water Board for the point where the cable crosses the primary flood defense.

Each party had their own interests, which were not always aligned. Antea Group started out by mapping the various objectives, procedures, and interests, and subsequently looked at where interests clashed, to then enter into consultations to find mutually satisfactory solutions. Antea Group's extensive expertise in the area of major infrastructural projects was crucial in these negotiations, enabling information about the project to be interpreted in a professional manner from the perspectives of the various competent authorities.

Results

Antea Group pulled out all the stops to arrive at one joint water permit in close collaboration with all the parties involved, and while taking account of the various interests at stake. The value added by Antea Group's coordination and efforts is that the permit leaves no room for contradictory interpretations, as the interests of all the parties involved are represented in a balanced fashion. The permit is therefore of high quality. And thanks to the coordination and mutual alignment, the procedure was completed smoothly.