The Netherlands could have its first multifunctional energy island ready by 2025, Ernst van Zuijlen, Project Director at Offshore Service Facilities, said at the Offshore WIND Conference in Amsterdam.
During the session titled Energy Security and Offshore Wind, Van Zuijlen and Jan Rispens, Managing Director, Renewable Energy Hamburg, presented their visions of the offshore grids of the future which included energy islands for far offshore wind farms, re-utilisation of the existing oil & gas infrastructure, energy storage solutions, interconnection, and offshore wind-to-hydrogen options.
Offshore Service Facilities has a goal of accelerating the energy transition and the development of large-scale wind energy in the North Sea by developing multifunctional service islands in a private-public partnership and with relevant parties.
The first such island could be built about 100 kilometres off the coast of IJmuiden and could be used to service far offshore wind farms at IJmuiden Ver and to house maintenance crews working on the wind farms.
Currently, there are three most likely island designs, Van Zuijlen said, terp which is more or less traditional, polder (caissons) and laguna, which includes floating and/or hybrid elements.
The Offshore Service Facilities predicts that 60GW of renewable energy will be installed in the Netherlands by 2050, while by then offshore wind farms will take 25% of the North Sea.
Dutch offshore grid operator TenneT is exploring options on how to connect 6GW of wind energy in IJmuiden Ver, which will be realised at a pace of 1GW per year as of 2024, while also achieving the lowest possible LCoE of wind energy. The artificial Energy Island is one of the concepts proposed.
It is projected that a 6km2 island could serve as a connection hub for over 30GW of wind capacity and be an interconnection point between the power grids of the North Sea countries.
Reporting: Nadja Skopljak; Editing: Adnan Durakovic, Adrijana Buljan