Denmark Plans Island To Mainland Strategy For Power Transmission, Using Wind Energy

Even as we wrote about the top 3 transcontinental transmission lines to carry solar power across continents, we track news from Europe about major wind generation plans using artificial and natural islands, in the North Sea and Baltic Sea respectively. At the centre of both these plans is Denmark, the wind energy leader, which hopes to export energy to other European countries.

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It is planning two separate offshore wind-based energy islands. One is an artificial island in the North Sea, the second is an island Bornholm in the Baltic Sea. Both the islands would start with installations of around 2 GW, expandable to 10 GW in time.

But for these energy islands to reach their full potential of supplying to Europe’s power sector, an interconnected grid of countries will be key to ensure Energy generated here can be sold to other countries.

These are the gigawatt sized plans that received a boost after European transmission system firms announced the signing of two key agreements.

The two cooperation agreements signed include one between Danish national transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet and Belgian TSO Elia, and the second between Energinet and German TSO 50Hertz.

While the agreement between Energinet and Elia moves forward the possibility of an interconnector between a Danish energy island in the North Sea the Belgian grid, the agreement between Energinet and 50Hertz advances the development of an interconnector between the Danish energy island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea, and the German power grid.

The Energinet and 50Hertz agreement consists of multiple stages, starting with the first phase of a DC connection between Denmark and Germany which would run 400km – from Bornholm west towards the Danish island of Zealand and south-west towards the coast of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in Germany.

According to 50Hertz, the converters, substations, and terminal for the distribution of the electricity will be installed on the island of Bornholm itself.

50Hertz also hopes for a situation in the future  when the right infrastructure could be plugged into Bornholm output to generate green hydrogen.

The agreement signed between Energinet and Elia could be first case of a connection between two artificial energy islands which would be able to transfer power between Belgium and Denmark and, at the same time, transport electricity from offshore wind farms to the mainland.

The proposed project, Triton Link, has already concluded a preliminary feasibility study, carried out over the past few months, which has subsequently demonstrated that the project is both socioeconomically and technically feasible.

For European wind majors, the progress on these plans would be welcome news as they prepare for a future with increasing competition from Chinese firms in wind energy too.

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