European TSOs Form Eurobar to Standardise Offshore Grids

Seven European transmission system operators have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of Eurobar, an initiative for interconnecting offshore wind platforms across Europe.

The Eurobar partners include Germany’s 50Hertz Transmission GmbH and Amprion, Sweden’s Affärsverket svenska kraftnät, Spain’s RED ELÉCTRICA DE ESPAÑA, France’s Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE), Norway’s Statnett SF, and Italy’s Terna – Rete Elettrica Nazionale Società per Azioni S.p.A.

The aim of Eurobar is to efficiently and securely integrate offshore wind power into the European power grid, starting from current regulation and projects such as point-to-point connections, and prospectively evolving to an interlinked offshore network or “busbar alike system”.

The concept is modular and is designed to be implemented autonomously by international partners. In that regard, striving for international standardisation of interfaces and technology is key, the TSOs said.

The EU Commission projects an installed capacity of up to 300 GW of installed wind power by 2050 in order to reach the climate goal of the Paris agreement.

Eurobar aims to support Europe and its TSOs in the secure and efficient connection of offshore wind farms by striving for standardisation of interfaces and technology, reducing the environmental impact, as well as interconnecting offshore wind clusters.

Thus, the Eurobar initiative’s mission is to develop and implement a joint approach for offshore infrastructure systems connecting the future offshore capacities to Europe’s transmission system.

Moreover, it follows the idea that interfaces will be standardised for the upcoming generation of offshore connection technologies, making them offshore grid ready. The parties highlight that these measures can be taken step-by-step and will be implemented when economically sound and technically needed.

”Eurobar makes a constructive contribution to European plans for offshore development,” says Dr Hans-Jürgen Brick, CEO of Amprion.

”It is a multinational framework for existing ideas, which need to be connected and translated into sustainable and innovative projects. Cooperation and exchange are key to the success of our initiative, therefore it is and remains permanently open to interested new parties.”

Photo: Siegfried Wagner/50Hertz/Illustration