German transmission system operator TenneT has awarded $32bn (€30bn) contracts to three consortia for the development of North Sea offshore grid connections.

The contracts were signed with the consortia of GE/Sembcorp, GE/McDermott and Siemens Energy/Dragados, and include the manufacture and installation of 14 offshore grid connection systems.

This will create offshore power electricity transmission capacity from the German and Dutch North Sea equivalent to 28 large-scale power facilities.

TenneT completed the process of awarding contracts for sea and land-based converter stations, which was launched in August 2022.

The company had already selected 11 of the systems by the end of March 2023. Three more systems have now been added.

Set for completion in 2031, the grid connection systems will feature a new 2GW technology that can transform alternating current into direct current and vice versa.

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These systems are expected to be manufactured by the members of the consortia exclusively in Europe, thereby supporting regional economies.

TenneT aims to develop the North Sea as a hub for sustainable power generation in Europe.

TenneT chief operating officer Tim Meyerjürgens said: “As the leading offshore transmission system operator in the European Union, we have the know-how needed to make Europe’s goal of securing an independent supply of renewable energies a reality. To achieve this, the North Sea must be developed as Europe’s green powerhouse and quickly connected to the electricity grids on land.

“We are acting and investing accordingly. Our 2GW program will help make green wind energy from the North Sea scalable and more cost-efficient – while continuing to minimise any impacts on the environment.”

In May 2022, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands signed the Esbjerg declaration at the North Sea energy summit. The four countries agreed to jointly install at least 65GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

TenneT aims to provide nearly two-thirds – around 40GW – of this capacity in grid connections.

The company is therefore building offshore grid connection systems in Germany and the Netherlands with a capacity of 20GW each.