NSWPH Kicks Off Study on Large-Scale Offshore Wind System Integration

Danish Ea Energy Analyses and German Energynautics will perform a study on the effective integration of large-scale offshore wind in the future energy system for the North Sea Wind Power Hub (NSWPH) consortium.

The first findings are expected to be released in July 2021, with the study aiming to support the development of the first hub project, which is anticipated to be realised in the early 2030s.

The goal is to gain insights in how to effectively integrate large-scale offshore wind in the future energy system in a way that it maximises long-term socio-economic welfare, while ensuring security of supply.

The outlook for the future energy system to be taken into account is looking at the period between 2030 an 2050.

The two companies commissioned for the study will be supported by Dutch research organisation TNO for aspects related to hydrogen and system integration, and Danish University DTU Wind for aspects related to offshore wind energy generation.

“With the decreasing cost levels of offshore wind and the intended roll out plans of the countries connected to the North Sea, it becomes extremely important to design an offshore energy system, including the integration challenges to the onshore energy system, which will effectively be designed for the coming decades”, said Luuk Feenstra, manager Energy Systems North Sea Wind Power Hub. “This requires a multi-country and cross-sector approach. We are pleased to announce that we have the opportunity to work together with the specific knowledge centres from the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark”.

The consortium developing the North Sea Wind Power Hub project comprises TenneT Netherlands, TenneT Germany, Energinet and Gasunie.

The NSWPH project involves developing a large-scale European energy system for offshore wind in the North Sea over the next few decades, based on a “hub-and-spoke” concept.

The concept connects offshore wind farms to one or several hub islands via alternating current cables. Power is then converted into direct current electricity by converters on the hub islands, before being exported by a series of interconnectors (the spokes) to the linked North Sea countries.

The project may also utilise power-to-gas technologies on the hub islands to convert offshore wind-generated power into hydrogen, which would then be exported via new and existing gas pipelines.

This October, the European Commission announced it was investing EUR 14 million in the North Sea Wind Power Hub programme, with the financing to be used for a study to support the development of the project.