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Discover Velsen: interview with Dorothy Winters

An interview with AYOP programme manager Dorothy Winters appeared in the Velsen City Marketing Foundation magazine Discover Velsen. She talked about the opportunities offered by offshore wind Ijmuiden, as you can read below in this translation from the Dutch.

The North Sea offers plenty of opportunities for the transition from fossil fuel to green energy. There are already three wind farms off the coast of Velsen and there will be many more in the years to come. In the future, there will even be floating solar farms. As Offshore Renewables programme manager at Amsterdam IJmuiden Offshore Ports (AYOP), the network association for offshore energy in the North Sea Canal area, Dorothy Winters knows that the Velsen business community has a major role to play in these developments.

'Being geographically close to a wind farm is a key cost factor for owners. It is important that our members know in time about plans for large projects so that they can anticipate. There is a great deal of knowledge and expertise available in Velsen and its surroundings to support the development of green energy at sea. Everything from cable logistics and crane manufacturers to companies that make lighting for use at sea.

As programme manager, I look at the aspects needed for the offshore wind industry in our region to grow. I closely follow developments in government policy, identify what they mean for businesses and bring parties together. The construction of a wind farm is a complex project. As people we tend to see the North Sea as a large blue-grey expanse, but if you look at the map and consider the shipping routes, extraction of gas, gravel and sand, and areas for fishing and recreation, it’s an enormous puzzle to pencil in large areas for a wind farm.

The wind farm that Vattenfall is currently building in this region will be four times larger than anything already operating off our coast. The NoordzeeWind, Princess Amalia and Luchterduinen wind farms have a combined capacity of about 357 megawatts. Vattenfall's farm will produce 1,400 megawatts, mainly because the new turbines are many times larger. Incidentally, they're too far out at sea to see them from the beach.

We really do need this enormous growth in green energy. Demand will only increase. Large companies like Tata Steel are eventually looking to switch from gas to hydrogen. To make hydrogen, you need a lot of green electricity. Apart from building power stations at sea – which is what the wind farms are – Velsen will also play a major role in their maintenance. Velsen is already the maintenance hub for offshore energy in the Netherlands and is certainly a major player at the European level. We don't need to be modest about that. Many wonderful things will happen in the future with the energy transition, with lots of work on the horizon! And Velsen is ready to grow along.'