About the SeaMade Project development process
The Mermaid concession was granted to a joint venture involving Otary and ENGIE-Electrabel in July 2012. The building and environmental permit was granted in April 2015. The Seastar concession was awarded to Otary in March 2010, with the building and environmental permit awarded in March 2014.
The Belgian onshore grid needed to be strengthened before the floating wind farms could be connected to the grid. The Stevin strengthening project began in December 2014 and was completed in 2018.
In 2016, grid operator Elia also decided to construct a modular offshore grid into which the four wind farms could be directly connected. This modular grid was completed in September 2019.
Support mechanism and the merger of Mermaid and Seastar
In October 2017, following intense discussions between the three Belgian projects and the federal government, a decision was made about the adaptation of the support system. The current support period was shortened substantially and the support level halved. With this decision of the federal government, an important step was taken toward finalizing a regulatory framework in September 2018.
Due to the reduction of the support mechanism the projects needed to ensure economies of scale. This led to the decision in July 2018 to combine the Mermaid and Seastar into a new venture, SeaMade Project. Eneco joined Otary and Engie-Electrabel on this project. Funding for SeaMade offshore wind farm was completed in December 2018.
Current status of the SeaMade project
All foundations for the SeaMade offshore wind farm are installed in the North Sea at the beginning of January 2020: a total of 58 wind turbine foundations and two foundations for the offshore substations. The export cable and the substations are installed, commissioned and energized. Also, the infield cables are installed and most of them commissioned. The installation of the first of 58 Siemens Gamesa SG 8.0-167 wind turbines has started on June 15th, 2020 and the first power has been produced on the first of July 2020.
The fixed wind farm will be fully operational by the end of 2020, helping the Belgian government manage its energy transition and meet its 20-20-20 climate goals.