Transmission system operators (TSOs) Energinet of Denmark and Elia of Belgium on Tuesday signed two new cooperation agreements that move connections from planned Danish energy islands to Belgium and Germany a step closer, Energinet said.
Cross-border connections improve the energy islands’ proposition and will bring more offshore wind to the European electricity system.
One of the agreements concerns an interconnector between the Danish energy island in the North Sea and Belgium. The other is with Elia’s German subsidiary 50Hertz and relates to a connection between the Danish energy island Bornholm in the Baltic Sea and Germany.
The pacts were signed at the WindEurope Electric City 2021 conference in Copenhagen and are seen as the first steps towards final investment decisions. The TSOs are now partnering on launching feasibility studies and the business cases for national approvals in the three countries.
"I see the cooperation agreement as a big step towards Danish energy islands becoming a reality and with huge gains for a greener Europe,” said Energinet chief executive Thomas Egebo.
A formal political memorandum of agreement was also signed between the Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities Dan Jorgensen and the Belgian Minister of Energy Tinne van der Straeten.
“Connecting offshore wind projects to more than one country will improve electricity flows across Europe,” commented Wind Europe chief executive Giles Dickson. “By pooling generation and transmission infrastructure these "hybrid" offshore wind farms reduce costs and save space,” he added.
In a separate announcement, Elia said that the new cooperation agreement follows a preliminary study on a hybrid interconnector between Belgium and Denmark. The project, called Triton Link, will connect two artificial energy islands in the northern and southern parts of the North Sea, enabling the exchange of power between the two countries, while carrying electricity from offshore wind farms to the mainland, it explained.
Triton Link could be completed around 2030, according to its announcement.
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