The idea of Netherlands-headquartered transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT Holding BV about a wind hub in the North Sea has taken a step forward with this week's announcement that Energinet.dk, the Danish TSO, has joined the plan.
TenneT Netherlands, Energinet.dk and TenneT Germany will sign a trilateral agreement on March 23 during the North Seas Energy Forum in Brussels, the companies said. Talks are ongoing with other North Sea TSOs, as well infrastructure companies, to form consortium that will realise the North Sea Wind Power Hub project.
TenneT presented the concept about the hub in June last year. The plan involves the construction of one or more islands, Power Link Islands, to which many wind farms could be connected, possibly 70 GW to 100 GW. The wind power will then be carried to the North Sea countries of the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Norway and Belgium via direct current (DC) lines that will double as interconnectors, linking the energy market of these countries.
The hub will be located in the middle of the North Sea, at Dogger Bank, which has been picked as the ideal location, due to its central position, good wind conditions and relatively shallow waters. The shallower the water, the lower will be the cost of constructing the wind farms and the island, TenneT says.
TenneT’s chief executive Mel Kroon stated that the project can make a significant contribution to a “completely renewable supply of electricity in Northwest Europe.”
Energinet.dk chief executive Peder Ostermark Andreasen said that offshore wind has become increasingly competitive in recent years and that innovative and large-scale projects are needed for the technology to play a bigger role in future energy supply.
Both solar and wind energy will be needed on a large scale to achieve a sustainable energy system in Europe and this requires cooperation between member states to be achieved, says the announcement.