European transmission system operator TenneT has announced plans to build two 2 GW offshore grid connections in the IJmuiden Ver wind energy area, having entered into a so-called 'innovation partnership' with its suppliers.
Given the combination of the large distance to the coast and the size of the IJmuiden Ver wind energy area, a 2 GW direct current (HVDC) solution, based on 525 kilovolts, appears to offer most economical advantages. It requires only one cable system per 2 GW, limiting the impact on the environment and the surroundings.
To realise such an innovative direct current system, TenneT launched the design phase with five HVDC suppliers on the basis of an innovation partnership: ABB Power Grids, GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions (Netherlands), Consortium Global Energy Interconnection Research Institute Co. Ltd. (GEIRI) & C-EPRI Electric Power Engineering Co. Ltd. (C-EPRI) (China), Siemens (Germany), and Xian Electric Engineering Co., Ltd (China).
These suppliers will develop this innovative 2 GW 525 kV HVDC solution based on criteria set by TenneT. They will provide specific information on this to Iv-Offshore&Energy b.v., which is carrying out the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) study on behalf of TenneT. On this basis, a standardized platform design will be developed for all HVDC solutions.
The information from the joint R&D innovation phase will be used for the final design of the platform. TenneT uses this standardized design for the contracting of several 2 GW grid connections (including IJmuiden Ver Alpha and Beta). This contributes to reducing costs for the offshore grid.
TenneT thus fulfils its responsibility as grid operator of the offshore grid, by stimulating innovative solutions that contribute to rolling out a cost-efficient and future-proof offshore grid infrastructure.
The move to connections with a 2 GW capacity is made possible through TenneT’s extensive experience with offshore HVDC grid connections in Germany, as well as with interconnectors. TenneT also uses the high-voltage 525 kV level for the new international offshore connection between Germany and Norway, NordLink.
TenneT will realise at least four 2 GW offshore grid connection projects in Germany from 2029. The results of the FEED study and the R&D phase of the innovation partnership will also provide emphatic input for this, because TenneT strives to standardise the systems wherever possible.
IJmuiden Ver will have wind farms with a total capacity of 4 GW. With the new 2 GW connection concept, TenneT wants to make optimal use of the area’s scale. This is in line with the offshore wind industry’s desire for larger wind farms.
TenneT is building two grid connections, each of 2 GW, for this purpose: Net op zee IJmuiden Ver Alpha, and Net op zee IJmuiden Beta. Preparations and procedures for these projects began in 2019, and Net op Zee IJmuiden Ver Alpha and Net op Zee IJmuiden Ver Beta are scheduled to go into operation in 2030.