As its name suggests, the Q7 offshore wind farm is located in block Q7 of the Dutch Continental Shelf. This block is located 23 km from the shore where the water is 19 to 24 metres deep. This makes the Q7 the first offshore wind farm to be constructed in such deep waters and at such a distance from the shore (beyond the 12-mile limit).
This distance and depth were chosen in order to reduce the visual effect from the coast as well as the impact on migrating birds. For more information, please see environmental impact.
The Q7 wind farm will only be visible from the shore in exceptional weather conditions. How often such a ‘visible period’ will occur each year will be determined on the basis of observations from the beach and the dune crossings at Egmond aan Zee and near Wijk aan Zee.
The distance between the wind turbines themselves is approximately 550 metres. The wind farm and an area of 500 metres around it have been declared a restricted area for shipping by the Ministry of Transport, Public Works and Water Management.
Although the wind farm is located in such a restricted area, it is not inconceivable that ships may nevertheless sail into the wind farm area, despite the fact that the restricted areas are marked on all sea charts. A radar system will register any ships that enter the wind farm in violation of the rules and part of the monitoring programme involves registering whether ships do in fact comply with these rules.