Eleven offshore grid connection systems with a joint capacity of 6,232MW for offshore wind energy transmission from sea to land have now been connected to the German power grid by transmission system operator TenneT.
“With this, TenneT has now almost entirely achieved the federal government’s expansion goal of having 6,500 megawatts of offshore wind capacity by 2020. Already this year, TenneT will exceed this goal since the completion of BorWin3 in the course of 2019 will put a total of 7,123 megawatts of transmission capacity into operation in the North Sea alone,” said TenneT Managing Director Wilfried Breuer.
By the end of 2023, another connection system will follow in the form of DolWin6, which will bring the available transmission capacity in the North Sea up to 8,032MW.
The wind energy transmitted from the North Sea by TenneT amounted to 16.75TWh in 2018, enough to cover the annual consumption of more than five million German households. The result in 2018 exceeded the previous year’s value of 15.97 TWh by 4.9 percent.
The current maximum infeed performance of offshore wind farms in the North Sea reached 4,773MW on 15 December 2018. The capacity expansion for offshore wind farms in the North Sea was at 5,307MW on 31 December 2018.
“It was foreseeable that the increase in the transmitted quantity of wind energy from sea to land in 2018 would be less pronounced than in previous years, making it all the more important to further accelerate the grid expansion on land in order to have the grid capacities on land needed to transport the electricity to the consumption-heavy regions of western and southern Germany as soon as possible,” Breuer said.
In parallel with this, TenneT is developing and participating in approaches and projects involving smart future technologies, digitalization of the electricity grid, increasing of its flexibility and advancing the coupling of the different sectors.
One current innovative approach in the offshore area is the planned 66kV technology that will be used for connecting the offshore wind farms to the future TenneT connections of DolWin5 and BorWin5. This technology can reduce investment cost and operational expenses by millions since the offshore transformer platforms of the wind farms are no longer needed and significantly less cable is required for connecting the individual wind turbine systems, TenneT said.