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Dutch power grid operator TenneT proposes island windfarm in North Sea

CTBR Staff Writer Published 13 June 2016

Dutch transmission system operator TenneT has developed a new concept based on the 'hub and spoke' principle to accelerate offshore wind development in the North Sea.

TenneT

The vision includes building an island in the middle of the sea to which several wind farms would be linked.

The generated wind electricity will then be distributed and transmitted via direct current cables to the North Sea countries such as the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Norway, Germany and Denmark.

In addition, the cables will serve as interconnections between the energy markets of the countries, resulting in international power trade.

The island scheme needs shallow waters, a central location and a high wind site. TenneT cited the Dogger Bank as a potential location with construction anticipated between 2030 and 2050.

The scheme would provide enough space for about 30GW of offshore wind capacity. The island will be expandable with the addition of one or two modules of 6 km² each.

TenneT CEO Mel Kroon said: "In Germany and more recently in the Netherlands, TenneT has the role of developer and operator of the offshore grid. From this responsibility we have taken the initiative to establish a realistic and achievable plan for further development of the North Sea.

"The success of the energy transition depends largely on the extent to which we mount a coordinated joint effort in Europe. Cooperation between national governments, regulators, the offshore wind industry, national grid administrators and nature and environmental organisations is a precondition for achieving Europe's environmental targets.

"The vision we have presented shows the relevance of cooperation in the North Sea."

TenneT said it will enter into talks with the European Union and the Member States to see whether the required European cooperation can be established.

Legislation, regulation, targets and financing are expected to play a key role.


Image: TenneT's thinking is based on an island with a modular structure, with each module covering approximately 6 km². Photo: Courtesy of TenneT Holding B.V.