OSTEND (B) | SeaMade offshore wind farm officially inaugurated on 20 October 2021

SeaMade has a capacity of 487 MW, representing an annual potential of 1.8 TWh, and was built and delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic. It was characterised as a project for an essential sector, but it remained a huge challenge to deliver what is the largest infrastructure project in Belgium before the end of 2020, on time and on budget.

SeaMade makes an important contribution to the Belgian targets for the development of renewable energy by supplying green power to 500,000 households, equivalent to a reduction of almost 700,000 tons in CO2 emissions per year.

SeaMade was developed by a consortium consisting of Otary, Ocean Wind and Eneco. SeaMade is managed by Otary, and together with the Rentel wind farm it provides almost 800 MW (100 turbines) of offshore capacity in the North Sea.

All parties also want to continue to play a leading role in offshore wind energy in the next concession zones. To meet the current UN and European objectives, further development of offshore wind is necessary. Belgium must continue to engage in this area and remain ambitious in its objectives, heading towards 2027 and 2030.

Official inauguration of SeaMade wind farm

On Wednesday 20 October, the SeaMade offshore wind farm was officially inaugurated in the Hippodrome in Ostend. SeaMade is the second wind farm built by Otary, together with Ocean Wind and Eneco.

SeaMade was inaugurated in the presence of the board of directors and its shareholders, investors, (sub)contractors and the Otary & SeaMade project team. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the North Sea Vincent Van Quickenborne, Minister of Energy Tinne Van der Straeten, Vice-President of the Walloon government and Minister of Climate, Energy and Mobility Philippe Henry and Ostend Mayor Bart Tommelein were also present at the inauguration.

Sustainable energy for 500,000 Belgian households

SeaMade has been operational since the end of 2020. Thanks to the close cooperation between the SeaMade team and subcontractors, the offshore wind farm was delivered on time and on budget. SeaMade consists of 58 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 487 MW that generate 1.8 TWh of renewable energy per year, good for the energy supply of 500,000 Belgian households. SeaMade NV is responsible for the simultaneous development of both the Mermaid and Seastar offshore wind farms, resulting in the largest wind farm ever financed and built in Belgium. Mermaid is the furthest zone in the Belgian North Sea, about 50 km from the Ostend coastline. Via export cables buried in the seabed, the electricity from the sea is linked to Elia's offshore transmission grid and then brought ashore.

Offshore wind energy essential for climate goals

SeaMade has made a considerable contribution to the binding target in Belgium to obtain 13% of our energy from renewable energy sources by 2020, which stands for 20% of the annual electricity consumption. Half of the renewable energy production comes from offshore wind energy, with a quarter of the required offshore energy production generated by the SeaMade project.

Since the end of 2020, after the commissioning of the last offshore wind farms in the North Sea, offshore wind energy has accounted for no less than 10% of total Belgian electricity consumption. Offshore wind energy is therefore an essential factor in meeting the Belgian and European climate goals.

Offshore wind has become a crucial player in the energy landscape which needs to develop further with a capacity that can double to almost triple over the next 10 years. This can only be done with concrete and ambitious objectives set by the government and all players in the energy landscape. The government must create the framework for this during the current legislature. To ensure a successful energy transition, it is also essential that the government develop a long-term vision for the integration of sustainable but intermittent energy sources, e.g. in the short term through the CRM, but more in the direction of storage, demand management and power-to-x applications in the longer term so that the entire demand for electricity can be provided at any time with sustainable energy. There is still an important role for grid operator Elia, to find sustainable solutions to open up the grid and thus enable the roll-out of more offshore wind in the shortest possible period of time.

Belgium more than ever ambassador of offshore wind energy

The first demo project (C-Power) was delivered in 2009 (30 MW), with the aim of having 2262 MW operational by 2020. 796 MW is managed by Otary, which is now more than ever an ambassador in Belgian North Sea energy.

Mathias Verkest, CEO SeaMade & Otary: “Belgium continues to be a pioneer in offshore wind energy. Offshore wind is not only good for sustainability and security of supply, but also has a positive effect on the Belgian trade balance. Thanks to this local energy source, not only do we avoid importing fuels, but we can also export our know-how to continents such as Asia and America, where offshore wind is in full development. I am pleased to be involved in the first (C-Power) and last project (SeaMade), but above all I hope that the continued innovations and efforts of the entire industry will allow us to further exploit the North Sea potential and provide for our energy supply. In this way we can give future generations a sustainable future as well as clean air. Due to numerous innovations, offshore wind is not only a safe and clean source of energy but also a cheap one.” “SeaMade is a unique partnership between Otary, ENGIE – now Ocean Winds – and Eneco with the significant involvement of Belgian companies (DEME – ENGIE – Equans – Smulders) in the construction of the farm.”

Wouter Vandekerkhove Deputy CEO of SeaMade and Country Manager for Ocean Winds, a joint venture between ENGIE and EDPR: SeaMade, the largest offshore wind farm in Belgium, has been created thanks to the collaboration and expertise of various partners and we are pleased that as part of the project team we have contributed to the development, realisation and now the operation of this important wind farm in our North Sea.” “Ocean Winds, together with ENGIE Electrabel, wants to play a pioneering role in the energy transition in Belgium, in which offshore wind energy plays a very important role. Our ambition is to have 1000 megawatts at sea by 2030, also in consortia such as this one.

Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister: “Renewable energy is the future. It helps to reduce our emissions and is also the cheapest form of energy today. Belgium is the world's number two per capita in the production of offshore wind energy. We are strengthening our position with the new wind farm, and in the coming years the federal government will continue to focus on expanding our wind energy capacity. It is our ambition to provide all families in our country with green electricity.”

Vincent Van Quickenborne, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the North Sea: “Belgian companies are pioneers in the development of offshore wind energy. We should be proud of that. This latest farm alone can provide almost all West Flemish families with green energy. It is also the first farm to be built with significantly reduced subsidies. Offshore wind turbines are becoming cheaper and more efficient. That is why we want to continue this line for the Princess Elisabeth zone.”

Tinne Van der Straeten, Minister of Energy:

“With offshore wind we have shown once again that we can be big as a small country. We will continue along this path with the federal government. We are tripling our offshore wind capacity, thereby providing North Sea electricity for every family. We can make this happen thanks to the very first energy island in the North Sea, technological progress and larger wind turbines. That's how we will turn our North Sea into one large sustainable energy plant.”

Miguel de Schaetzen, CEO Eneco Wind: “With the One Planet Plan, Eneco has set itself big and concrete goals. In 2035, we want to be completely climate neutral with our entire business operations, all our assets and together with our customers,” says Miguel de Schaetzen, CEO Eneco Wind. “Obviously, the development of offshore wind farms plays a crucial role in this. At Eneco, we want to focus all our attention on this: thanks to our expertise, our investments and our customers, we will continue, more than ever, to play our leading role in the energy transition.”

About Otary RS NV

The project is part of the Otary partnership, which brings together on an equal footing many Belgian specialists in renewable energy, from the private and public sectors as well as from the two largest regions. These include investment and development companies Green Offshore (Ackermans van Haaren) and Power @ Sea, specialist in dredging and complex hydraulic engineering works DEME and the green players Aspiravi and Elicio. The Walloon environmental holding company SRIW Environnement, and the Flemish and Walloon energy and utility companies Z-Kracht/Nuhma and Socofe are also shareholders of the company.

In addition to the SeaMade concessions, in which it has a 70% stake, Otary also fully owns the concession for the Rentel offshore wind farm. Together they account for 100 offshore wind turbines or a total capacity of almost 800 MW. The Otary partners have helped shape the development of offshore wind in the Belgian North Sea. In addition to SeaMade, they are also involved in C-Power, Northwind, Rentel and Norther, good for a total capacity of 1,707 MW at sea; Otary partners also participate in other renewable energy sources at home and abroad.

Citizens are also involved in the Rentel and SeaMade offshore wind farms. They can invest in the farms themselves through the recognised ECO2050 cooperative. More than 5.7 million euros have already been raised from more than 800 participants. A share in ECO2050 costs 50.33 euros; interested parties can consult the information note and subscribe for shares via the website www.eco2050.be.

About Ocean Winds

OW is a 50/50 offshore wind joint venture, owned and founded by EDP Renewables and ENGIE. Both companies believe that offshore wind energy will become an essential part of the global energy transition, leading to rapid industry growth and increased competitiveness. Therefore, they have incorporated all their existing completed projects as well as the portfolio of new projects under development into the new company.

OW has a strategic advantage and is well positioned to play a leading role in the offshore market. EDPR and ENGIE have combined their offshore wind farms and project pipeline in OW, starting with a total of 1.5 GW under construction and 4 GW under development, aiming to reach 5 to 7 GW of projects in operation or under construction and 5 to 10 GW at an advanced stage of development by 2025. OW focuses primarily on markets in Europe, the United States and selected regions in Asia, where the most growth is expected.

In addition to contributing to the development and realisation of SeaMade, Ocean Winds is leading the way with the realisation and operation of Windfloat Atlantic in Portugal, the world's first semi-submersible floating wind farm, which has been in operation since last year. In addition, Ocean Winds has completed the installation of the 950 MW Moray East project, the largest offshore wind farm in Scotland.

About Eneco Wind Belgium NV

Eneco Group is a leading player in the supply and production of renewable energy and one of the largest players in the wind sector with more than 1,000 MW of renewable production capacity in the Benelux and the United Kingdom. Eneco Wind Belgium is the company responsible for the development of Belgian wind farms on land and at sea. For example, Eneco Wind Belgium has 104 onshore wind turbines (a total of more than 200 MW) and has a 50% share in the Belgian wind farm Norther. Eneco is committed to a New – fully sustainable – World and therefore goes further than just generating and distributing sustainable electricity. Eneco has more than 300 employees and is located in Mechelen, Ghent and Wavre. Eneco supplies its 1 million residential customers with 100% sustainable and 100% locally produced energy.

More info at www.eneco.be