Ørsted + ATP ink agreement with GlobalConnect for North Sea Energy Island

Ørsted + ATP have signed an agreement with digital infrastructure and connectivity firm GlobalConnect to position their proposed North Sea Energy Island a cross-border digital hub.

In Spring 2021, Ørsted and ATP joined forces to develop a concept for Denmark's upcoming tender for an energy island in the Danish North Sea. The small artificial island is to consist of flexible modules that can be added and replaced as required. The modules are built onshore and connected to the North Sea Energy Island, meaning that the island can easily be upgraded to accommodate more than the 10 GW. It can also be adapted to accommodate other technologies.

According to Ørsted + ATP, the agreement with GlobalConnect will make the North Sea Energy Island a backbone in the future digitization of Northern Europe and attract large-scale digital investments to Denmark. The partnership claims Denmark will be centrally placed to attract investments in two of the most significant long-term growth industries globally: renewable energy and digital infrastructure.

GlobalConnect has more than 100,000 km of fibre across the region. Data consumption is expected to rise significantly in the coming years, as more devices connect to the internet. This will require a capacity expansion of the grid transporting data between the North Sea countries. A smart North Sea Energy Island offers a natural intersection for this grid while also being a reliable source of renewable energy to power the digitisation, according to the project partners.

Additionally, the smart energy island could become a central part in the next phases of the regional offshore wind build-out by enabling for example autonomous operations and further digitizing offshore wind.

Rasmus Errboe, Head of Region Continental Europe at Ørsted, said: “The North Sea Energy Island offers Denmark a unique opportunity to become a hub for the key technologies of tomorrow, and thereby attract significant investments within both renewable energy and digitalisation. We’re very excited to work with GlobalConnect to enable the future connectivity needs of the region, while leveraging our unique modular design to potentially attract global tech investments to the region, including on the North Sea Energy Island.”

Claus Wiinblad, Senior Vice President at ATP, said: “When embarking on such a significant long-term investment as The North Sea Energy Island, it’s crucial that the dynamics of the concept and construction meet the demands of the future sustainable and digital society. We want to create a versatile and flexible energy island that will support the green transition, both now and in the years to come, as well as being a sensible risk-adjusted investment of the Danish pensions. In GlobalConnect we have a resilient partner in digital infrastructure to secure connectivity and growth.”

Martin Lippert, Group CEO of GlobalConnect, commented: “The North Sea Energy Island will play a significant part in future-proofing the region while strengthening the Nordic’s position as an attractive hub for transporting data across the world. As a provider of cross-border critical digital infrastructure, we are very excited to share the vision with Ørsted + ATP to build a smart energy island with a resilient and secure network that paves the way for the digital future of offshore wind while providing a unique attraction to global tech giants.”