Residents of Noordoostpolder, Urk and Lemsterland will given the chance to acquire shares as well as bonds in the Westermeerwind Wind Farm that is due for completion in 2016. The decision was taken by the initiators following in-depth research among the population and following consultation with the municipality of Noordoostpolder and the banks, among others. The opportunity to invest will made available approximately one year following completion of the wind farm.

The people’s preference
In-depth research conducted in mid-2013 clearly showed that 60% of the interested households in the polder would prefer to invest in a bond (with a fixed rate of interest and a limited term) than in a share. Ten per cent of the households would prefer a share. To give as many residents as possible the opportunity to invest in the wind farm, it was decided that Westermeerwind would offer both forms of participation. To facilitate financial investment in Westermeerwind, a special share fund and bond fund have been established.

Involvement and support
In consultation with the municipality, the Westermeerwind Wind Farm reached agreements in principle concerning the options for investment back in 2002. The investment options are designed to allow the immediate surroundings to share in the benefits of this project. Local residents’ financial investment will also expand social support for the wind farm.

Investment options will be opened up one year following completion of the farm. This means that investors do not face any financial risks during construction of the wind farm that is yet to be developed.

In addition to all the residents of Noordoostpolder, Urk and Lemsterland and farmers from the polder who will soon be able to invest in the wind farm, there is a further group of 32 people specifically named residents who have the opportunity to invest in the wind farm in their own name. These are residents who, at an earlier stage, had their own ideas for the development of smaller scale wind turbine projects but who could not implement their plans due to the municipality’s policy. In consultation with the municipality, the developers of the wind farm determined back in 2002 that these residents could participate in the wind farm up to a maximum of 1 Megawatt per person.

Scope of the investment
The research reveals that all the residents together wish to invest up to 4 million euros in Westermeerwind bonds. To ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to invest in the wind farm, Westermeerwind decided to issue 5 million euros in bonds.

In addition to the 32 named individuals, all other residents of the polder can apply for shares. Based on the research, the demand from other farmers and residents is expected to reach approximately 2.5 million euros. The volume offered will be ample for all interested parties.

According to Anne de Groot of Ventolines, the company providing the project management for the Westermeerwind Wind Farm, there was such a strong desire from the polder to invest in bonds that the initiators did not want to let it pass. “We always said that Westermeerwind should be a wind farm for and by the polder. This means that we also needed to take account of the polder residents’ preference. It is unique in our country for a wind farm to enable investment via shares as well as bonds.”

Additional information: 

Westermeerwind B.V.
Westermeerwind B.V. is located in Noordoostpolder and was founded in 1996 in order to develop the Westermeerwind Wind Farm in one of the windiest locations in the Netherlands. See: Westermeerwind B.V. has outsourced full project management of the Westermeerwind Wind Farm to Ventolines.
Westermeerwind Wind Farm
Westermeerwind Wind Farm is being developed in the waters of the IJsselmeer along the dikes of the Noordoostpolder. The farm is to comprise 48 wind turbines with a capacity of 3 MW each - forming two rows along Westermeerdijk and one row along Noordermeerdijk - plus an onshore electrical substation. Westermeerwind Wind Farm is part of the Noordoostpolder Wind Farm. See:
Ventolines B.V.
Ventolines is a service provider in the wind energy industry and provides the development, financing, realisation and operation of wind farms. See:
The research
The research among 6000 households in Urk, Noordoostpolder and Lemsterland was conducted in mid-2013 by the independent agency Smart Agent based in Amersfoort.