The North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH) is technically and economically feasible, according to the consortium proposing to develop the project.
The announcement comes as the consortium gathered the results of the project assessment phase which included analyzing the possibility and conditions required to build one or several wind power hubs in the North Sea.
Initial study and preliminary test results showed that the proposed Hub-and-Spoke concept is technically feasible, with the first project likely to be electrically connected to shore, with additional power-to-gas to provide energy system flexibility and potentially going into operation in the 2030s.
According to the consortium, while it is likely possible to build the first project within the current regulatory framework and market design, changes are required in national practices, approaches, planning and policies to allow for integrated infrastructure projects.
An international coordinated approach could connect and integrate large scale offshore wind more effectively and with significantly lower costs compared to a continued individual national planning, the consortium added.
Furthermore, a gradual roll-out of 10-15GW hubs is said to be the next logical step towards a large offshore wind build-out, which is crucial to meet the Paris Agreement targets.
The NSWPH Consortium partners Energinet, Gasunie, Port of Rotterdam, TenneT Netherlands and TenneT Germany have committed to investigating the potential of establishing a large-scale offshore wind collection hub in the North Sea by studying technical, environmental and market perspectives.
The hub would include one or more Power Link Islands that would accommodate a large number of links to wind turbines and/or offshore wind farms and facilitate electricity distribution and transmission to the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK, Norway, Germany and Denmark.
The envisioned power capacities are 70-150GW by 2040 and up to 180GW by 2045.