TenneT presents concept to drive offshore grid expansion

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European transmission system operator TenneT has presented a technology concept to accelerate offshore grid expansion for wind power in the North Sea.

With the wind power booster, 6GW of offshore wind capacity will be incorporated into the grid as early as 2032, instead of 2035, stated TenneT in a press release.

According to TenneT, the wind power booster is the first concrete step towards a long-term meshed high voltage direct current grid at sea and on land.

A meshed direct current grid (HVDC overlay grid) on land and at sea ensures long-term security of supply and reduces the economic costs of integrating renewable energies to achieve the climate targets.

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TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens said: “…our conceptual and technological innovation for a six-gigawatt hub demonstrates a way to significantly accelerate the achievement of ambitious climate protection targets.

“At the same time, we are laying the foundation for a sustainable interconnection of the direct current grid. In this way, we are sustainably increasing efficiency as well as security of supply and making an important contribution to the intelligent coupling of offshore wind with electrolysers to be built close to generation and the gas grid.”

TenneT suggests that, in order to achieve European climate targets, it is necessary to establish an internationally meshed direct current grid at sea and on land in order to transport more energy through the planned direct current lines on land.

At the offshore grid interconnection points near the coast, in addition to decarbonising energy-intensive processes, intelligent sector coupling with planned electrolysis projects as well as with the gas infrastructure and the feed-in of onshore wind energy is planned.

In order to supply private consumers, industry and planned electrolysis projects with offshore wind energy, as well as to enable a direct connection with continuing direct current lines on land, the three offshore connections will land close to the coast in Heide (Schleswig-Holstein), Wilhelmshaven (Lower Saxony) and in the Bremen area.

Each of these three areas is to be integrated as a wind power booster with a two-gigawatt connection.

“The concept presented to accelerate the expansion of offshore wind energy use while saving power lines is a building block in the right direction. We need to come up with a viable target concept as soon as possible on how we want to expand our infrastructure by 2045,” said Schleswig-Holstein’s Minister of Energy Jan Philipp Albrecht.

“And we have to start planning for this today. We want a European energy transition and this includes a European system interconnection that includes not only electricity but also the production and transport of green hydrogen. We will take an integrative, interconnected approach and build strong future-proof energy infrastructures in the centre of Europe.”