Preparatory works for the connection of the third offshore wind farm by grid operator TenneT will start next week on Monday, 28 August, at the Vliegerpad in Velsen. This Hollandse Kust wind farm (west Beta) will be located 50 kilometres off the coast of Egmond aan Zee. The electricity cables that will soon transport the green power will come ashore via Velsen beach. To be able to carry out the drilling under the dunes safely, contractor NRG will start as early as possible in the storm season.
To drill under the dunes, a working area will be set up both on Velsen beach and in the Een Zee van Staal sculpture garden. Both sites will feature drilling machines that will drill GPS-controlled underground towards each other. Before both work sites can be set up, NRG is preparing the Vliegerpad for the supply of equipment.
“All transport for the supply of the equipment to the beach goes via the Tata Steel site, then a stretch of Reyndersweg and the final stretch along Vliegerpad,” Patrick Bakelaar, environment manager for NRG, explains. “On the part of the Vliegerpad we need, we will remove the stelcon plates and, in consultation with the Velsen municipality, temporarily lay a rubble pavement.”
Car park closure
Furthermore, the car park at the Vliegerpad will be closed during the works over the next few weeks until autumn 2024. “As with the previous work to connect the Hollandse Kust (north) and (west Alpha) wind farms, we will use this area as a storage and transfer point,” he said. “However, the beach exit will remain open to beach visitors as usual. In consultation with the municipality of Velsen, the two disabled parking spaces will be set up temporarily along Reyndersweg.”
According to Bakelaar, the contractor needs the car park for several reasons. “Here, we can transfer materials and equipment from motor vehicles that are suitable for entering the beach. We also keep space free so that trucks have enough room to manoeuvre properly on site. Trucks can also wait here for a while until the Vliegerpad is clear. In this way, we ensure that traffic and beach visitors always have free passage.”
Setting up work areas
Next, the two work areas on either side of the dunes will be laid out from September. Work site 1 (WKT1) will be realised on the beach of Velsen, and work site 2 (WKT2) is located in the Sculpture Garden, a Sea of Steel on the other side of the dunes. These two work sites are the most prominent for the surrounding area. Indeed, WKT3 will be on the Tata Steel site, and WKT4 will be set up within the fences of the transformer station on Zeestraat.
Temporary sand castle
As for the landfall of the sea cables for Hollandse Kust (north) and (west Alpha) at Heemskerk, contractor NRG is creating a raised working area on the beach at Velsen. Bakelaar: “This is necessary to eliminate the difference in height on either side of the dunes in view of the drilling. Because it now involves not four, but two sea cables, the temporary ‘sand castle’ on Velsen beach is reduced.”
Once again, the sand needed for the temporary embankment will be extracted a little further away at Zuiderbad. “We will start the excavations in September to ensure that the construction of the structure is ready on time. The sand will again be transported by dump trucks travelling at low speed through the high-water mark. For safety, these transports will be escorted by a 4-wheel drive containing staff who will alert beach visitors to the transport.”
For work site 2 – which will be temporarily located in the Sculpture Park – Bakelaar says that cyclists and walkers will also have free passage here during the work. “As before along Meeuweweg in Wijk aan Zee, a working area will be set up here on both sides of the path. For safety during the night hours, we will install amber lighting in consultation with the municipality that will not disturb the surrounding nature.”
According to Bakelaar, both the work plans and the schedule were drawn up in close consultation with the surrounding area, Rijkswaterstaat, Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier and the municipality of Velsen. “In cooperation with TenneT, we held information meetings earlier this year, and beach house owners have also already received an explanatory letter with a brochure about the work.”
Up to date
According to Manon Raats, stakeholder manager at TenneT, this letter will also arrive in Wijk aan Zee one of these days. “We want to include the surrounding area as much as possible in the implementation of the work. For instance, people who want to follow the work closely can download the TenneT ConstructionApp for free. In this way, we are already keeping more than a thousand followers informed about the project almost daily.”
In good consultation
According to Raats, when construction goes on somewhere, it never goes unnoticed. “My appeal to the surrounding area is: let us know if there are things. Then we can possibly do something about it. Once again, we want to work as much as possible in good consultation with residents and visitors.If people have any questions, points of interest or complaints, they can always contact our team at The Information Centre at Zeestraat 250 in Wijk aan Zee for this.”
Image source: Courtesy of TenneT
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