To obtain and design feasible solutions for offshore transmission grids for (offshore) wind energy integration and international electricity trade that deliver significant lower energy costs.
In this study, an effort will be made to lower the cost of offshore wind energy, less offshore cable length and lesser convertor-stations, by increasing the utilization, reliability and controllability of the offshore grid infrastructure. This will be realized through innovative concepts and techniques, as well as through an improved regulatory framework. A specific pilot case will be elaborated, namely creating an interconnection between the UK and the Netherlands using wind farms East Anglia and/or Beaufort. The methods and results of this study can also be applied for other offshore grids including wind farms.
In the past five years offshore wind energy has gained a significant market share and the number and scale of offshore wind farm installations is expected to grow rapidly, especially in the North Sea. The huge capital and operational costs require an optimized design and efficient utilization of the infrastructure. The electrical infrastructure of an offshore wind farm represents a large share of the total costs, which strongly increases with the distance to the grid connection point and the wind farm size. Also the revenues are influenced by the electric system, as improved control capabilities for balancing the intermittent generation and other services for grid support may increase the price for which the electricity can be sold.
This study aims to deliver (1) a final statement on feasibility and the conceptual design of a specific case involving two offshore wind farms and interconnection capacity between the UK and the Netherlands and (2) a proof of concept of design innovations, including technical and regulatory aspects, which are relevant to the studied case and other offshore grids including wind farm. This study also aims on the delivery of solutions such as necessary adjustments to the legal/regulatory framework, new financial structures and products, a modernization of offshore substations and specific innovations such as a distributed temperature sensing system and of practising of value engineering within this projects.