The first cable to connect Elia’s Modular Offshore Grid (MOG) plug to the Belgian grid made landfall in early May, with the second cable expected to reach the shore later this month, the Belgian offshore grid operator said.
The first cable was connected to the mainland, where it was then connected to the existing onshore underground cables leading to the Stevin high-voltage substation in Zeebrugge.
Work is also underway offshore to connect the cables to the platform, Elia said.
The plug is located 40 kilometres off the Belgian coast and will enable wind farms to transmit as much as possible of the electricity generated to the mainland. In total, this will involve 130 kilometres of 220-kV cables, which will be laid under the sea, leading from the offshore platform to Zeebrugge beach.
The plug is expected to be commissioned in September 2019.
Chris Peeters, Chief Executive Officer at Elia, said: ”The MOG plays an essential role in the transition towards more renewable energy. We are especially proud that Elia can act as a pioneer in this regard. The project has been completed in record time: the first agreements were made with the authorities in March 2016, and the MOG will be operational this September. That is unheard of.”
Elia plans to expand the offshore network by building MOG II as announced in the company’s recently approved 2020-2030 Federal Development Plan.