TenneT Presents Future Dutch Grid Connection Plans

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Following the release of the Dutch Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap 2030, TenneT has tabled proposals on how to connect offshore wind farms in the Holland Coast (West), North of the Wadden Sea Islands, and IJmuiden Far Offshore zones to the offshore grid.

According to TenneT, the best way to connect the nearshore zones Holland Coast (West) and North of the Wadden Sea Islands to the grid is to use Alternating Current (AC) technology, while the IJmuiden Far Offshore would require Direct Current (DC) connections.

The energy produced in the two zones located near the Dutch coast can be transmitted via a standard TenneT transformer platform that is connected to an onshore high-voltage station via 220kV AC cables buried in the seabed, the operator said, adding that each of these standardized connection systems has a capacity of 700MW, and will also be used to connect the Borssele zone (2 × 700MW) as well as the Holland Coast (South) (2 × 700MW) and Holland Coast (North) (700MW) wind farm zones.

In addition, continued innovation should enable the development of DC connection capacities of between 1,200 and 2,000MW, which will then enable the integration of IJmuiden Far Offshore with fewer connections and less spatial impact, TenneT said.

TenneT is also working with government departments to research the possibility of constructing an island in the IJmuiden Far Offshore zone to accommodate a converter and transformer station, to which wind farms can be connected, expected to be more cost-effective than installing multiple large offshore DC platforms.

In addition to potential economic benefits, an island would offer opportunities for converting wind power into hydrogen, facilitating a so-called Wind Connector, and creating port and maintenance facilities.

A Wind Connector to the UK will make it possible to use the infrastructure for both connecting wind farms and further integration of the international electricity market, TenneT said, emphasizing that this will significantly improve, potentially even double, the usage efficiency of the offshore grid, and will contribute to a reduction of the cost price of offshore wind energy. An island in the IJmuiden Far Offshore zone can also yield valuable experience for the creation, after 2030, of an even larger energy island in the North Sea farther offshore.

With the roadmap being published, TenneT said it is now looking to work with public- and private-sector parties to initiate the follow-up research required to flesh out the broad outlines for an offshore grid, followed by construction projects.

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