Benefits of a Meshed Offshore Grid in the Northern Seas Region

Published: 22/10/2014

Next to the growing share of renewable energy sources, the European electricity system is currently characterised by an increasing cross-border trade, between neighbouring countries over land, but also via submarine cables. To cope with these changes, investment in network infrastructure is needed, not only onshore, but also offshore. The Second Strategic Energy Review has identified a North Sea offshore grid, interconnecting national electricity grids and connecting offshore wind farms to shore, as one of six infrastructure priorities for the European Union.

Modern technology would even allow for a meshed grid, wherein wind farm clusters are connected to offshore hubs that are connected to each other and to various countries. This study, conducted for the European Commission, by PWC, Ecofys, and Tractebel Engineering compares the costs and benefits of a “meshed” offshore grid in the Northern Seas region with separate radial connections to shore for each wind farm and shows that a meshed configuration could bring significant benefits.

The study is available for download at: ec.europa.eu

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Edwin Haesen
Energy Systems and Markets
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Offshore wind park (by Fotostudio Honing)