Two of Europe's biggest electricity transmission system operators – TenneT of the Netherlands and Denmark's Energinet.dk – are pressing ahead with ambitious plans to develop a massive windpower hub on the Dogger Bank in the North Sea.
The plans feature one or more artificial 'power-link' islands for housing transmission equipment that will connect a huge array of over 10,000 wind turbines and distribute power to connected North Sea countries including the UK, Germany, Norway and Belgium, as well as Denmark and the Netherlands.
TenneT unveiled its vision for the North Sea Wind Power Hub in June 2016 and has now announced that Tennet B.V of the Netherlands will sign a development agreement with Tennet GmbH of Germany and Energinet.dk later this month. According to a statement released by Energinet.dk, discussions are continuing with other potential partners as well.
Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT, said: "This project can significantly contribute to a completely renewable supply of electricity in Northwest Europe. TenneT and Energinet.dk both have extensive experience in the fields of onshore grids, connection of offshore wind energy and cross-border connections. I am happy that we are going to take this step with our Danish colleagues and I look forward to the participation of other transmission system operators and possibly other partners."
Energinet.dk CEO, Peder Østermark Andreasen, said: "Offshore wind has in recent years proved to be increasingly competitive and it is important to us to constantly focus on further reduction in prices of grid connections and interconnections. We need innovative and large-scale projects so that offshore wind can play an even bigger part in our future energy supply."
The TennetT and Energinet.dk plans for a Wind Power Hub have been launched off the back of a declaration of cooperation on energy signed between North Sea countries in June last year. The Dogger Bank area is seen as crucial for Europe's sustainable energy generation due to its favourable conditions in relatively shallow water.
The UK has its own plans for development of two wind farms on its side of the Dogger Bank. Planning consent for the Teesside A and B sites 125-290km off the north east coast was awarded by the UK government last year. When built these will each have around 200 turbines and a power capacity of 1.2GW, whereas the TenneT/Energinet.dk plans are for up to 70-100GW.