TenneT announces HVDC cable tender for North Sea grid connections

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 20/09/2022 TenneT

TenneT has announced a large scale High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable tender for offshore grid connections in the North Sea.

The Dutch-German Transmission System Operator (TSO) aims to meet its 2030 offshore expansion target. Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium have agreed to install at least 65 GW of offshore wind energy together by 2030 (Esbjerg Declaration). At 40 GW, almost two-thirds of this is accounted for by TenneT, with 20 GW each in the German and Dutch North Seas. Furthermore Energy Ministers from the members of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) and the European Commission have recently announced a significant increase in their collective ambition in the deployment of offshore renewable energy until 2050.
TenneT has now unveiled plans to agree a second cooperation with key market partners for a period of up to eight years. This agreement covers the 525 kV subsea cables for laying between the offshore converter platforms in the North Sea to the coast, as well as the underground cables from the coast to the onshore converter stations.

"With our second large-scale EU tender this summer, we as a cross-border transmission system operator are once again giving the offshore market an important boost in terms of investment security, employment and the plannable development of resources and supply chains," said TenneT COO Tim Meyerjürgens. "At the same time, the framework agreement secures cable orders for at least ten offshore grid connections in the German and Dutch North Sea for our innovative 2 gigawatt program. We are thus consistently pursuing our new path of cooperation with industrial partners in order to meet the challenges of the ambitious offshore expansion targets set by the governments of Germany and the Netherlands," Tim Meyerjürgens commented. 
Tim Meyerjürgens added: "TenneT had already published its first large-scale EU tender in the offshore sector in June. This tender focused on the offshore converter platforms and the onshore converter stations. That was the first step, and now we are following up with another large-scale tender for our innovative 525 kV cable system. Together, the two tenders offer a holistic and concrete action plan to further accelerate the offshore grid expansion in the North Sea as Europe's wind power plant. With our new 2 GW standard for offshore grid connection systems, we have provided the blueprint for this grid expansion. With our framework agreements, we are now initiating the necessary market approach to deliver safely and sustainably - in time, scope and budget."
At present, TenneT's connection capacity is around 7.2 GW in the German North Sea and around 2.8 GW in the Dutch North Sea. The TSO in rolling out its 2 GW standardisation programme is aimed to play a crucial role in managing the energy transition from offshore.  It offers more than twice the transmission capacity of the 900 MW systems that have been common in Germany to date and will allow the same amount of electricity to be transmitted with only half as many grid connections.

TenneT also claims that harmonising the systems in terms of technology and planning will also make it possible to put additional grid connections systems in place even faster than before. In this way, the 2 GW Programme will make wind energy from the North Sea scalable and the supply of green electricity more cost-efficient, according to the TSO.

As part of the 2 GW Programme, at least six offshore grid connection systems – each with a transmission capacity of 2 GW of wind energy from the North Sea – are to be built in Germany and the Netherlands by 2030.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.