“With our second major EU tender this summer, as a cross-border transmission system operator, we are once again giving the offshore market an important impetus towards investment security, employment and the plannable development of resources and supply chains,” said TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens. “At the same time, the framework agreement secures direct current cable orders for our innovative 2GW program for at least ten offshore grid connections in the German and Dutch North Sea. We are thus consistently continuing our new path of cooperation with industrial partners in order to master the challenges of the ambitious offshore expansion goals of the governments of Germany and the Netherlands,” continues Tim Meyerjürgens.
TenneT is thus still on course to achieve the offshore expansion line 2030. Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium have agreed to jointly install at least 65 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind energy by 2030 (Esbjerg Declaration). With 40 gigawatts, almost two-thirds of this is accounted for by TenneT, 20 gigawatts each in the German and Dutch North Sea. In addition, the energy ministers of the North Sea Energy Cooperation (NSEC) and the European Commission recently announced that they intend to significantly increase their joint targets for deploying offshore renewable energy by 2050. The challenge is immense. This new approach will offer growth opportunities and maximum planning security for all supply chains involved.
TenneT plans to agree on second cooperation with important market partners for a period of up to eight years. This agreement covers the 525 kV cables to be laid between the offshore converter platforms in the North Sea to the coast and the underground cables from the coast to the onshore converter stations.
Tim Meyerjürgens: “TenneT published its first major EU tender in the offshore sector back in June. This had concentrated on the offshore converter platforms and the onshore converter stations. That was the first step, now we’re following it up: with another major tender for our innovative 525 kV cable system. Together, the two tenders offer a holistic and concrete action plan to further accelerate the offshore grid expansion in the North Sea as a wind power plant in Europe. With our new 2 gigawatt standard for offshore grid connection systems, we have provided the blueprint for this grid expansion. With our framework agreements, we are now initiating the necessary market approach to deliver safely and sustainably – on time, in scope and on budget.”
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the resulting energy and raw materials crisis have increased the challenges of transitioning to a sustainable energy system. As the four countries describe in the Esbjerg Declaration, the North Sea has the potential to become Europe’s green wind power plant. An integrated offshore energy system in the North Sea is key to achieving energy transition and energy independence. The technological future lies in a meshed direct current grid at sea and on land, which enables both the exchange of electricity between European countries and security of supply for all.
TenneT’s connection capacity is currently around 7.2 gigawatts in the German North Sea and around 2.8 gigawatts in the Dutch North Sea. TenneT’s innovative 2GW program plays a crucial role in managing the energy transition from offshore and will help Europe become the world’s first carbon-neutral continent. This new standard combines our extensive expertise in offshore grid connections with a unique transnational approach. With a strong focus on harmonisation and standardisation, the program provides a blueprint for future offshore grid connection systems and enables faster expansion. At the same time, the larger capacity of two gigawatts per system reduces the number of grid connections required. The 2GW program sets a new pace for the European energy transition. It will provide Europe and its people with more green energy safely and cost-effectively, with the least possible environmental impact.
Image source: Courtesy of TenneT
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