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First 'offshore power socket' ready for use

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Published on: 11 September 2019 | Changed on: 11 September 2019

TenneT has delivered the first major 'power socket' (Borssele Alpha platform) for the offshore electricity grid. It will be used to transport the wind energy generated by Borssele Wind Farm Sites I and II (700 MW) to the mainland.

From 2020 about 2.5% of the electricity used in the Netherlands will be transported via the Borssele Alpha platform from the offshore wind farm to the mainland. TenneT has delivered the platform within the scheduled time. In total, 10 substations of this type will be installed in the years ahead.

Important contribution offshore grid to the success of offshore wind energy

TenneT's coordinated construction of an offshore electricity grid has made an important contribution to the success of offshore wind energy, in addition to recent successful subsidy-free tenders for wind farms. TenneT's prompt delivery boosts wind farm developers' confidence in future components of the offshore grid being ready in time as well.

The careful alignment with the high-voltage onshore grid, which is also managed by TenneT, is a further advantage of TenneT's responsibility for the construction. It means problems owing to a lack of transport capacity will be avoided wherever possible. Using the State coordination scheme, the national government, TenneT, and other interested parties have cooperated to ensure the sound spatial integration of the connection between the wind farm and the national high-voltage grid.

Offshore wind farms and the Climate Agreement

In accordance with the Climate Agreement, 70% of our electricity needs, must be generated sustainably (solar or wind power) by 2030. That is a total of at least 84 TWh. More than half of this amount (49 TWh) will be generated by offshore wind farms, while the other 35 TWh will come from onshore wind farms and solar farms. It is fulfilling the electricity needs of homes and businesses. But it is also vital that offshore wind power replaces fossil fuels and materials in the industrial sector with 'green molecules', such as hydrogen created by wind-powered electrolysis.

Offshore wind energy boom is coming

In the years to come, the amount of electricity generated by offshore wind farms will substantially increase. A 'wind boom' is coming. Currently, offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea total approximately 1 gigawatt (GW), a figure that will have risen to at least 4.5 GW – or 16% of the Netherlands' total electricity output – by 2023.

This total will subsequently increase to around 11 GW – or 40% of our electricity needs – by 2030, with less than 3% of the Dutch part of the North Sea occupied. Between the wind turbines (which are approximately 1 kilometre apart) there is space for third-party use. Examples are seaweed cultivation, fishing for crabs and crustaceans. The plans for wind farms up to 2030 are laid out in the Offshore Wind Energy Roadmap. They are summarised in the following table.

Planning and proposed tender schedule for offshore wind energy

Capacity (GW)Wind Farm Zone, site(s)Tender for sitesAnticipated commissioning date
0.7Borssele, Sites I and IIImplemented in 20162020
0.7Borssele, Sites III, IV and VImplemented in 20162020
0.7Hollandse Kust (zuid), Sites I and IIImplemented in 20172022
0.7Hollandse Kust (zuid), Sites III and IVFirst quarter of 20192022
0.7Hollandse Kust (noord), Site VFourth quarter of 20192023
0.7Hollandse Kust (west), Site VISecond quarter of 20212024 to 2025
0.7Hollandse Kust (west), Site VIISecond quarter of 20212024 to 2025
0.7North of the Frysian Islands, Site IFourth quarter of 20222026
1.0IJmuiden-Ver, Site IFourth quarter of 20232027 to 2028
1.0IJmuiden-Ver, Site IIFourth quarter of 20232027 to 2028
1.0IJmuiden-Ver, Site IIIFourth quarter of 20232029 to 2030
1.0IJmuiden-Ver, Site IVFourth quarter of 20252029 to 2030

 

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Offshore wind energy