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FPS Economy prepares for offshore wind farms, boosting its knowledge with offshore wind masterclass

To follow the first offshore wind farm in the North Sea just off the north-eastern Belgian coast, the second wind farm is currently being deployed further west and further out to sea. The second park has been named the ‘Princess Elisabeth Offshore Energy Zone’, ‘Princess Elisabeth zone’ for short. The area covered in the Marine Plan 2020-2026 has an area of 281 km² and includes all wind farms to be built between 2020 and 2030. Together, the turbines have a capacity of 1.75 GW, double the previous amount of renewable energy produced at sea.
Work has been done on preparatory and field studies, allocating tenders for domain concessions to project developers and for the construction of the wind farm. FPS Economy is the contracting party and has assigned the task of acquiring in-depth knowledge to a specific team. The team aimed to collect information on current, state-of-the-art and innovative trends in offshore wind energy, as well as expert insights on specific issues. They contacted the experts at the OWI-Lab, an on- and offshore wind energy centre of excellence set up by Sirris, the VUB and Ghent University. Various modules have been set up: on wind resources and turbulence, conditions on the seabed and geotechnology, offshore foundations and structural integrity, and a general session on innovation within the industry. Many team members learnt a great deal from the whole-day bespoke masterclass. The Sirris experts at the OWI-Lab hosted part of the masterclass (wind resources, aerodynamics and turbulence and the innovation module), and shared their knowledge, experience and know-how on offshore wind energy.

The FPS Economy team started their task having learnt a great deal and gained inspiration, so the new tender procedure can now be started. The objective is to assign domain concessions for construction and exploitation in the new concession zone by approximately 2025-2026.