DTU on Mission to Cut North Sea Energy Hubs Failure

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is developing digital solutions for controlling long-distance power flows in order to avoid blackouts and failure at energy hubs in the North Sea.


The multiDC project focuses on developing intelligent digital solutions for controlling long-distance power flows to avoid blackouts and severe failure and looks into how to design the power flows in the Nordic grid with connections to Europe.

According to DTU, in addition to a greater number of HVDC lines and connection points, the energy islands have to be in balance so that blackouts will not occur on the islands themselves. This is important as they, in conjunction with the connected offshore wind farms, will function as gigantic power plants in the future.

“When we get the energy hubs in the North Sea, we will have even more HVDC lines and connection points in the Nordic grid, which must be controlled and coordinated,” said Ass. Prof. Spyros Chatzivasileiadis at Technical University of Denmark and Project Manager for multiDC.

“Each of the planned energy hubs will be able to integrate 10-15 GW of wind energy into the electricity grid. Imagine we lost one of these hubs due to power failure. Denmark could suffer a complete blackout. We are working to prevent this at any time.”

The project is working to achieve even better control of the power flows in the high-voltage lines connecting countries, which in this way can to a greater extent exchange the reserves that are available in each country to help the grid prevent imbalances and power failure, for example in the form of power plants ready to increase their production.

This will significantly reduce the cost of operating the power system, as you can share the reserves and have common emergency response, DTU said.

Researchers at DTU have also developed advanced market algorithms, which are said to help Denmark save millions of Euros a year in the electricity system by taking into account the energy losses that arise when dealing with energy across national borders via foreign connections.

“In this way, those responsible for the losses will pay, instead of the bill ending up with the Danish system operator and thus the Danish electricity consumers,” Chatzivasileiadis stated.

The North Sea Wind Power Hub 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.

In order to be able to harvest the sustainable gigawatts from the sea between the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Denmark and Norway, the vision is to increase the number of offshore wind turbines connecting to energy hubs, for example in the form of an artificial island. This allows the wind energy to be collected from the surrounding offshore wind farms and transmitted across Europe, DTU said.