Innogy and TenneT Blaze North Sea Offshore Wind Hub Trail

International energy company innogy and Dutch transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT have signed a Letter of Intent to jointly investigate the opportunities and challenges of offshore wind cross-border interconnectors across a North Sea Wind Power Hub system.

Image for illustrative purposes only. Source: Nordsee One GmbH

The parties will initially investigate feasible design options, the economic rationale, and the regulatory and market requirements of connecting offshore wind to interconnectors, the so-called WindConnectors, across the North Sea.

This investigation will build on the knowledge of previous studies and the latest successes on cost reduction in offshore wind. It will particularly focus on the opportunities for the large-scale deployment of offshore wind in the North Sea, further offshore.

The UK already has projects in development, including innogy’s 1.2GW Sofia project.

TenneT’s CEO Mel Kroon said: “Given WindEurope’s forecasts of the planned deployment of up to 70 GW offshore wind by 2030, new approaches must be investigated to connect large scale offshore wind to the onshore grids. A North Sea Wind Power Hub system supports the deployment of significantly larger volumes of offshore wind. The cooperation with innogy offers us a perfect opportunity to investigate such new approaches.”

Innogy and TenneT will pool their experience and insight to establish the practical benefits of different approaches to building the necessary infrastructure.

“Research and development is crucial to bring renewable generation to the next level,” innogy Renewables COO Hans Bünting said.

”Connecting offshore wind projects into an independent transmission system creates the potential to feed into multiple markets. The main benefit will be the ability to supply consumers with larger volumes of cheap, predictable and low carbon offshore wind power well into the future. With this research project we become a trailblazer for the whole offshore industry.”