TenneT pushes ahead with North Sea wind hub vision
Source: TenneT Holding BV (www.tennet.eu)
TenneT Holding BV, the Dutch grid operator, which also operates in Germany, today released a number of announcements related to the so-called North Sea Wind Power Hub, including the addition of a new partner, the Port of Rotterdam.
The company also presented an idea for an artificial island to connect more offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea and announced the results of a study looking into the feasibility of a WindConnector link between the Netherlands and the UK.
TenneT unveiled a vision for a wind hub in the North Sea last year. This was followed in March 2017 by the signing by TenneT TSO BV of the Netherlands, Denmark's Energinet and TenneT TSO GmbH of Germany an agreement for the development of the North Sea Wind Power Hub. The idea is to connect potentially up to 100 GW of offshore wind power capacity to Power Link Islands, which will be connected via direct current (DC) lines to the countries bordering the North Sea. Dutch gas grid operator Gasunie joined the project in September.
The Port of Rotterdam has now become the fifth partner in the North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium, bringing expertise in seaward land reclamation. The partners will be continuing with studies, expected to lead to the development of the hub from 2030 onward. The plan envisions offshore wind collection hubs of 10 GW-30 GW that will feed and connect a number of North Sea countries, TenneT explains, and is expected to also involve power-to-gas conversion and storage in the form of hydrogen.
TenneT says that for far-offshore wind farms, a coordinated international approach with an island-based solution will be 30% more cost-effective than the traditional connection model with HVDC converter platforms on individual jackets. It reiterated that using an artificial island instead of platforms could save money and presented, in a separate announcement, options for supporting the expansion of offshore wind in Dutch waters, which would require wind farms to be located further offshore.
An artificial island could also facilitate a WindConnector link to the UK, the grid operator said.
TenneT and the Crown Estate, the UK seabed manager, have commissioned a study to assess the potential benefits of such a link to both transmit power generated offshore and interconnect electricity markets. An analysis by Poyry has concluded that this could reduce the cost of energy by reducing the need for offshore infrastructure and improving asset utilisation. TenneT said the study makes the case for more detailed analysis of the approach, including the regulatory frameworks that would be required.