Three transmission system operators (TSOs) have signed a trilateral agreement to develop the “North Sea Wind Power Hub,” which the companies say has the potential to supply 70 million to 100 million Europeans with renewable energy by 2050.
The Netherlands’ TenneT B.V., Denmark’s Energinet and Germany’s TenneT GmbH signed the agreement with a goal of investigating the feasibility of building what they call one or more “power link islands” in the North Sea. According to the companies, one power link island could facilitate up to 30 GW of offshore wind.
The idea is to create a large connection point for thousands of future offshore wind turbines. The North Sea Wind Power Hub would be in a location with shallow waters and optimal wind conditions, the companies note. The generated wind energy would be distributed and transmitted via direct-current connections to all countries bordering the North Sea: the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, the U.K., Norway and Belgium.
“This cooperation with Energinet is an invitation to TSOs from North Sea countries, as well as other infrastructure companies, to join the initiative,” says Mel Kroon, CEO of TenneT. “The ultimate goal is to build a solid coalition of companies that will make the European energy transition feasible and affordable.”
Torben Glar Nielsen, chief technology officer of Energinet, adds, “Building one or more artificial islands in the middle of the North Sea sounds like a science fiction project, but it could actually be a very efficient and affordable way for the North Sea countries to meet the future demand for more renewable electricity.”
The TSOs say they will spend a few years investigating the potential of one or more power link islands. If the TSOs decide to go ahead with the project, a power link island could be developed by approximately 2035.