Denmark and Germany to Build Bornholm Energy Island Together

Denmark will increase the planned offshore wind capacity at the Bornholm Energy Island from 2 GW to 3 GW and enable the transfer of electricity to the German grid, with two political agreements now in place to make that happen.

The Danish Government started exploring the possibility to raise the offshore wind capacity at its Bornholm Energy Island last year.

In October 2021, The Danish Ministry of Climate, Energy and Utilities requested Energinet to expand the feasibility study areas at the energy island site in the Baltic Sea that would allow installing 3 GW of offshore wind, instead of the initially planned 2 GW.

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Now, the Government, together with the Liberal Party, the Socialist People’s Party, the Radical Liberal Party, the Red–Green Alliance, the Conservative People’s Party, the Danish People’s Party, the Liberal Alliance and the Alternative, has signed a political agreement on expanding the planned offshore wind capacity.

The expansion means that the wind turbines will be placed between 15 and 45 kilometres from the Bornholm coast, which will in total add more than double the offshore wind capacity Denmark has connected today (2.3 GW).

It is expected that the tender framework for the offshore wind build-out related to the Bornholm Energy Island will be completed by the end of 2022.

Furthermore, Denmark and Germany have entered into an agreement on the establishment of a subsea cable that will run from the energy island to Germany, enabling the offshore wind power to be sent directly from the energy island to the German electricity grid and on to the rest of Europe.

The cable connecting Denmark and Germany will have a length of approximately 470 kilometres and will include a new substation on Bornholm connecting the two halves of the interconnector.

The agreement with Germany is a new type of cooperation, according to the Danish Ministry of Energy, Climate and Utilities, where costs and benefits associated with the energy island are distributed equally between the parties. 

This means that both countries will contribute to the infrastructure costs and benefit from the supply of green electricity.

“The cross-border energy cooperation project with Denmark is a flagship project. The green power from “Bornholm Energy Island” will supplement national power generation and reduce our dependence on fossil energy imports. With such projects among European partners we achieve two key goals at the same time: European energy security and climate neutrality”, said Robert Habeck, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action.

Based on the political agreement, Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet and 50Hertz, German TSO responsible for the transmission network in the Baltic Sea, must now enter into an agreement on the energy island.

The Bornholm Energy Island, to be completed in 2030, will be the first of the two Danish energy islands to be built.

When established, the energy island will be able to supply up to 4.5 million Danish and German house-holds with green electricity.

According to earlier information from the Government, the capacity of the wind farm(s) around the island could rise up to 3.8 GW, if overplanting is allowed. The possible capacity from overplanting can, on private initiative, be used by the concessionaire for Power-to-X (PtX) projects, for example.

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