Representatives of Dutch, Danish and German transmission system operators signed an agreement to develop the North Sea Wind Power Hub during the first meeting of the North Seas Energy Forum held in Brussels on Thursday, 23 March.
TenneT Netherlands, Energinet.dk and TenneT Germany plan to construct one or more artificial island hubs, the Power Link Islands, at an area such as the Dogger Bank in the central North Sea.
The infrastructure on the hubs, which will house staff and workshops, will link wind farms in the North Seas region and transmit the electricity they generate to Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom via interconnections.
The interconnectors will also enable these countries to trade electricity. As a result, they will be able to maximise their use of energy from renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, whose capacity to generate electricity varies from place to place due to changing weather conditions.
The hub is expected to facilitate connecting large wind farms located far offshore to it, allowing for a potential total connection capacity of between 70,000MW and 100,000MW, according to the TSOs.
TenneT and Energinet, as well as any other parties that want to join, will spend a few years on investigating the details and potential of one or more Power Link Islands. If the TSOs decide to go ahead with the project, a Power Link Island could be developed by approximately 2035.
”The North Sea Wind Power Hub shows what human ingenuity can achieve when we work across Europe’s borders. This Wind Power Hub will reduce the costs of offshore wind energy and boost growth and jobs in this sector. It provides strong tail winds to our fight against climate change and to Europe’s global leadership in renewable energies,” the European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said.
The North Seas Energy Forum, organised by the European Commission, brings together representatives from the public, private and non-governmental sectors in the ten countries in the North Seas region – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as well as from the European Commission. The participants will discuss the development of an offshore grid covering this region that will realise its full energy potential.