AMSTERDAM – AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, DSM, Google and Philips have started receiving power from the Bouwdokken wind farm in the Netherlands – a milestone achievement resulting from a unique green energy purchasing consortium they jointly established. All four companies consume a substantial amount of power in the Netherlands, and by working together they are making a significant contribution to delivering on the Netherlands' renewable energy target of 14% by 2020.
In October 2016 and January 2017, the companies signed two long-term power purchase agreements (PPAs) that enabled construction of two Dutch wind farm projects – Krammer and Bouwdokken. These wind farms, both of which are located in the southwest of the Netherlands, have a total capacity of over 140 MW, enough to power approximately 140,000 households.
It is the first time that a group of multinationals in the Netherlands have teamed up to negotiate long-term PPAs directly with project developers, bypassing the involvement of an energy utility company. The Rocky Mountain Institute's (RMI) Business Renewables Center, a leading independent authority on sustainability, says the consortium is among the earliest examples of aggregated corporate demand successfully participating in clean energy markets worldwide.
"This marks the next big step towards a new way of supplying energy for Dutch industry," said Marcel Galjee, Energy Director at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, on behalf of the consortium. "We brought together a group of companies that is united in its sustainability leadership. We believe it is of utmost importance to join forces and come up with innovative partnerships to achieve the sustainability goals of our companies as well as those set out in the Paris climate agreement."
Harry Coorens, VP Procurement Sustainability at Royal DSM, added, "The collaboration and progress as shown in this initiative is well recognized outside the Netherlands. I receive questions from all over the world to explain this success story. It is a prime example to show an industry drive and collaboration that supports a mutual goal; creating a cleaner environment for people today and generations to come. Looking back historically, it's interesting to note that this project was developed near the Delta Works, another visionary feat that is highly regarded outside the Netherlands."
All four companies are also members of the RE100, a collaborative global initiative uniting more than 100 businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for – and delivery of – renewable energy.
AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, which already sources some 45% of its energy from renewable sources, will use the green energy at its site in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, chiefly to produce chlorine, caustic soda and “green” hydrogen, all essential raw materials in the chemical industry.
DSM uses the renewable energy as an addition to its commitment to purchase electricity from renewable sources to manufacture its products.
Google will supply its datacenter in the Netherlands with energy from the grid on which the wind farms are producing electricity.
When both Dutch windfarms are fully operational, 100% of Philips' activities in the Netherlands will be powered by Dutch wind energy, an important milestone in the company's ambition to become carbon neutral by 2020.
The Bouwdokken wind farm is owned and constructed by E-Connection on the Neeltje Jans artificial island, which is part of the so-called Delta Works – a series of construction projects that protect the southwest of the Netherlands from the sea. Wind Cooperation Zeeuwind is a 25% shareholder of the wind farm, which consists of seven turbines of 4.2 megawatts each.