Belgium's first subsidy-free wind farm inaugurated at ArcelorMittal in North Sea Port
The wind farm operated by Storm consists of three wind turbines with a rotor diameter of 162 metres, a tip height of up to 230 metres and a capacity of 6 MW per turbine. They are the largest wind turbines in Belgium. "The bigger the wind turbine, the more electricity it generates and the cheaper that electricity becomes, says Storm's managing director Jan Caerts. "A rapid transition to low-cost locally produced renewable energy is essential for anchoring heavy industry in our country."
The new wind farm was commissioned with a push of the red button in the presence of VIPs including Flemish Minister of Finance, Budget, Housing and Immovable Heritage Matthias Diependaele and Carina Van Cauter, Governor of the Province of East Flanders.
For steel production
Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO ArcelorMittal Belgium, says: "The new wind turbines on our sites are another milestone for ArcelorMittal Gent in terms of renewable energy. We will use the green electricity generated throughout the steel production process, further reducing our carbon footprint." The power will be used not only for electrifying the steel processes but also for 200 charging points for employees.
Reducing carbon footprint
The wind turbines will supply more than 45,000 MWh of electricity annually to ArcelorMittal's production site in Ghent. This corresponds to the annual electricity consumption of 13,000 households. The wind farm will eliminate 11,225 tons of CO2 emissions every year. 431 local residents and employees of ArcelorMittal Belgium co-invested directly in the wind farm.
Daan Schalck, CEO of North Sea Port: "As a port, we are increasing our focus on delivering renewable energy, in addition to halving CO2 emissions by 2030 and becoming a climate-neutral port by 2050. This project contributes to those aims and at the same time further anchors ArcelorMittal Belgium's activities in Ghent."
In total, ArcelorMittal now has 16 wind turbines on its sites, capable of generating 70 megawatts of green energy and helping to meet climate targets. ArcelorMittal aims to reduce CO2 emissions by a third by 2030 and to be climate neutral by 2050.
ArcelorMittal will buy all the electricity from the wind farm at a fixed price for 20 years. This arrangement assures the steelmaker of a guaranteed supply of cheap and renewable energy. It has also allowed Storm to construct the wind farm without having to rely on the system of green power certificates. This means Storm is delivering the first subsidy-free wind farm in Belgium.
Storm develops, builds and operates onshore wind farms in Belgium. The company has about 50 wind turbines operational or under construction. Storm offers local governments the opportunity to become co-shareholders of its wind farms. Local residents can participate directly in the Storm wind farms through the Storm CV cooperative.
About ArcelorMittal Belgium
ArcelorMittal Belgium, which has locations in Ghent, Liège, Genk and Geel, employs 5,000 people. Total direct and indirect employment is estimated at 30,000 jobs. The company produces high-quality steel for a wide range of applications in the automotive sector and other industrial sectors such as green energy, construction, appliances and packaging.