Transmission systems operators National Grid and Tennet have agreed to look at options to link British and Dutch wind farms.
UK energy distributor National Grid, via subsidiary National Grid Ventures, will partner with Tennet, which operates across Germany and the Netherlands. The companies will assess the possibilities for subsea interconnector for integrating offshore wind farms in both countries.
The companies’ cooperation will focus on the development of a multi-purpose interconnector to simultaneously connect up to 4GW of offshore wind capacity to the electricity systems.
National Grid Ventures managing director Jon Butterworth said: “The UK’s binding commitment to net-zero by 2050 and the European Green Deal have set clear goals for a low-carbon future for generations to come.
“Multi-Purpose Interconnectors have the potential to act as a key enabler for new offshore wind projects and we’re delighted to be partnering once again with Tennet to deliver an innovative vision to help realise the full green energy potential of the North Sea.”
A Tennet spokesperson said the project would be the first of its kind for the UK and the Netherlands in the North Sea. Once completed, the interconnection capacity of the two countries will increase by 2GW.
The spokesperson emphasised the link’s role in both countries’ targets to expand offshore wind capacity in the North Sea.
The UK government recently unveiled plans for 40GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. Meanwhile, the Netherlands has targeted 11.5GW by 2030, with another increase of 20-40GW by 2050.
Tennet CEO Manon van Beek said: “Tennet has been at the forefront of developing multi-purpose interconnection to enable the large-scale growth of offshore wind in the North Sea.
“This agreement allows us to work with National Grid in the North Sea to develop innovative infrastructure that uses every spare electron of offshore wind generation to reach our decarbonisation targets.”
Tennet and National Grid Ventures aim to establish the ‘path-finder’ project by the end of next year, with an objective to deliver operational asset by 2029.
In August this year, Tennet awarded contracts for the 900MW BorWin5 offshore grid connection system to the consortium of Siemens and Dragados Offshore, as well as Danish industrial group NKT.