Results from a recent survey by order of Ørsted, developer of Borssele I & II Offshore Wind Farm, showed that the province of Zeeland is in general supportive of the arrival of the wind farms Borssele I to IV.
The survey was held amongst 2,072 members of the ZBpanel, an online panel for and about the province of Zeeland by ZB| Planbureau and Bibliotheek van Zeeland. Of the 937 panel members that participated, 47% is positive, 26% neutral, and 25% negative about the arrival of the wind farms.
A majority of the panel members (79%) are aware of the plans for the offshore wind farms. Among the advantages of the wind farms mentioned are: renewable energy supply (90%), reduced dependence on fossil fuels (89%), reduced dependence on foreign sources (82%), reduction in CO2 emission (78%), contribution to local employment (78%) and an economic impulse to Zeeland (70%). The panel members however also identified downsides: harm to nature (88%), horizon pollution (84%) the cost for the construction and maintenance of the wind farms (69%).
37% of the panel members would prefer a combination of on and offshore wind farms. 29% would rather have offshore wind farms, while 9% want the opposite; just onshore wind farms. A minority prefers no wind farms at all (20%).
According to Steven Engels, Ørsted Netherlands director are the results of the survey in line with expectations. The developer has experienced a warm welcome from the local governments, citizens and business since the plans were announced and actively invests in local content. An example is the decision to build a new operations and maintenance base in Vlissingen that will create between 50 to 100 jobs. In addition, Ørsted has partnered up with several local parties such as educational institute Scalda (see interview).
Ørsted starts with the offshore construction activities in December of this year. Borssele I & II will comprise 94, 8 MW turbines from Siemens Gamesa. The wind farm is planned to become operation by the end of 2020.