RVO Talks 6 GW for IJmuiden Ver Offshore Wind Zone

The Dutch IJmuiden Ver Wind Farm Zone, which is set to house TenneT’s next-generation offshore grid solution with a capacity of 2 GW per connection, is likely to incorporate three instead of two 2 GW grid connection systems and have 6 GW instead of 4 GW of total installed offshore wind capacity.

Illustration; Photo source: RVO.nl (archive)

This is according to the latest presentation on the IJmuiden Ver grid connection plans, held at the Offshore Energy Exhibition and Conference (OEEC) in Amsterdam, where the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) provided updates on the projects.

The IJmuiden Ver zone is now planned to comprise three offshore grid connections and corresponding transformer platforms: Alpha, Beta, and Gamma. These will connect the offshore wind farms at the I & II, III & IV, and the newly planned V & VI sites to the grid.

Consultation on the draft permit and draft spatial plan for the Beta connection is set to start at the end of this year, while the same is scheduled for Alpha at the beginning of 2022. Final permits and spatial plans are expected to be in place in mid-2022.

Project Gamma started in the first quarter of this year, according to RVO, with public consultation on the draft scoping document running from 17 September until 28 October.

Gamma will follow the same route as Beta and will be connected to the transmission network on land at Maasvlakte, while Alpha will connect to the onshore grid at Borssele via Veerse Meer. Gamma and Alpha route will partly run along the same offshore route.

The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and the transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT opened consultation on the IJmuiden Ver Gamma 2 GW offshore wind connection project, the third offshore grid in the wind farm zone, in April of this year.

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Final decision on this and other wind energy projects will take place this autumn within the framework of the North Sea Programme, which RVO now confirmed saying that the northern part of the IJmuiden Ver wind energy area needs to be confirmed in the North Sea Programme for the Gamma connection to firmly move forward.

Still, in order to utilise the synergistic benefits with the IJmuiden Ver Beta offshore grid as much as possible, the government and the TSO have started the project earlier, with all steps reversible if necessary later on.

At the beginning of this month, TenneT launched a tender for 2 GW offshore platforms and high voltage direct current (HVDC) systems in the IJmuiden Ver wind area and expects to award a contract by the end of 2022.

Within firm plans for IJmuiden Ver, TenneT will build two 2 GW offshore grid connections, with the first one planned to be operational in 2028. The Gamma project, if given the go-ahead, must be operational by 2030, at the latest.

An offshore wind tender to develop the sites I and II is scheduled to open in 2023. A tender to develop the sites III and IV is scheduled to open in 2025.

The IJmuiden Ver grid links are the first 2 GW direct current connections TenneT plans to build in the Netherlands and Germany, and represent the first time high voltage substations of that capacity are used on an offshore wind project. The offshore transformer stations will be connected to the onshore grid via 525 kV export cables, another industry’s first.