Wind Power

25 Jun 2020

Amprion Unveils Pan-European Offshore Grid Vision

25 Jun 2020  by   
German transmission system operator (TSO) Amprion has developed a concept for networking offshore wind farms across Europe.

The aim of the European Offshore Busbar (Eurobar) project is to integrate offshore wind generated electricity into the European power grid so that it makes the “best possible” contribution to climate objectives in Germany and Europe, said Amprion.

Eurobar is modular and can be implemented autonomously by grid partners in countries bordering the North Sea that are collectively planning to develop around 200GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050.
Amprion chief executive Hans-Jurgen Brick said: “If we want to have a climate-neutral energy system by 2050, we have to begin to develop it today.

“The trans-European integration of offshore wind power will play a special role – and we have to get to grips with it quickly.”

“That is because technical facilities in the energy industry require an average planning and construction time of 10 years.

“But then they remain operative for many more years. Eurobar aims to make a constructive contribution to European plans for offshore development.”

The Eurobar concept proposes that the next generation of offshore transmission platforms in the North Sea should be designed from the planning stage to be connected to an offshore network.

These assets can then be connected up to each other step-by-step at a later stage, initially at a national level, and then between North Sea neighbours, under Amprion’s proposal.

By networking, wind energy can be transported “flexibly across borders” to wherever it is needed, said the grid operator, reducing the need for additional onshore grid investment and development.

Amprion chief technology officer Klaus Kleinekorte added: “On land, we’ve been using the benefits of an interlinked power network for many decades.”

“The idea is a seamless extension of our network concept on land, and a continuation thereof.”

The Eurobar system will integrate onshore and offshore energy sector systems, such as power-to-x technology.

A key part of the project aims to standardise offshore platforms and their connection systems.

“Eurobar will intensify European collaboration in offshore wind development,” said Kleinekorte.

Eurobar is designed to be implemented autonomously by international partners, whether states or network operators.

Amprion chief financial officer Peter Ruth added: “The only condition required for networking, he says, is the use of the technical standards that need to be developed and applied before future offshore platforms are built.

“We will now be working together with our partners in industry and among network operators on resolving the technical issues and advocating standardisation at a European level.”

BWO (Federal Association of Wind Farm Operators Offshore) managing director Stefan Thimm said: “We very much welcome the initiative of the transmission system operators.

“The international networking of offshore wind projects is a strategic task that is becoming increasingly important.

“In our view, Eurobar is another exciting approach to the European integration of offshore electricity and a welcome contribution to long-term security of supply from renewable energies.”

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