German transmission system operator Amprion has presented a concept for connecting offshore wind farms across Europe.
The Eurobar (European Offshore Busbar) concept aims to integrate offshore wind power into the European power grid so that it makes the best possible contribution to climate objectives in Germany and Europe.
The nations bordering the North Sea are planning to develop an offshore potential of around 200 GW by 2050.
The Eurobar concept proposes that the new generation of offshore platforms in the North Sea should be designed from the planning stage to be connected to an offshore network.
They can then be connected up to each other step by step at a later stage, initially at a national level, and then between North Sea neighbours.
“On land, we’ve been using the benefits of an interlinked power network for many decades,” said Dr Klaus Kleinekorte, CTO at Amprion.
Amprion intends to translate this integration concept to the offshore network with Eurobar.
“The idea is a seamless extension of our network concept on land, and a continuation thereof,” said Kleinekorte.
The overriding aim is to develop an overall system for onshore and offshore energy. This can also be connected to other sectors, such as using power-to-gas technology. A key to networking offshore wind farms, according to Kleinekorte, is in standardising offshore platforms and their connection systems.
Eurobar is modular and can be implemented autonomously by international partners, Amprion said.
“Eurobar is designed as a partnership,” said Amprion CFO Peter Rüth.
It can be implemented autonomously by international partners, whether states or network operators. The only condition required for networking, according to Rüth, is the use of the technical standards that need to be developed and applied before future offshore platforms are built.
“We will now be working together with our partners in industry and among network operators on resolving the technical issues and advocating standardisation on a European level,” said Rüth.