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TenneT assembles onshore converter station team for 2GW offshore connections

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: Tom Russell 22/02/2023 TenneT

In a framework agreement, TenneT has selected Dura Vermeer, BAM Infra Nederland and Visser & Smit Bouw for the civil engineering works for the construction of the land stations for its 2GW offshore grid connection projects in the Netherlands.

From 2024, TenneT plans realise the connection of offshore wind farms according to a new 2GW standard. With this new standard, the power generated by offshore wind farms is to be brought ashore via a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) connection. The land stations are designed to support the integration of electricity generated by offshore wind farms with the national the high-voltage grid. Onshore, the direct current is converted to alternating current and the voltage is transformed from 525kV to 380kV, making it compatible with the Dutch high voltage grid.

Dura Vermeer, BAM Infra Nederland and Visser & Smit Bouw will realise the buildings and related infrastructure. This involves the realisation of at least eight land stations, with completion expected in 2030. The framework agreement can be extended for new 2GW projects are announced within the term of the contract.

Marco Kuijpers, Director Large Projects Offshore TenneT: "On the quality aspect, it's about proven experience and expertise. On safety and sustainability, the parties that have made progressive proposals to work as safely and sustainably as possible have been selected. For example, the roofs of buildings are built on the ground and then installed as a whole, reducing the need to work at height. To fulfil the ambition of 'TenneT's most sustainable land station', the parties were selected for their sustainability expertise. Thus, already during the design phase, the biggest polluting resources such as steel and concrete can be minimised and replaced by a sustainable alternative. These include wood and recycled concrete. By looking at the entire life cycle of the building, the least amount of pollution is controlled and low-emission vehicles and equipment are used as much as possible during construction. The limited outdoor space is also designed to maximise biodiversity while maintaining a safe working environment."

The basic design for the land stations has been established with selected parties working on a detailed design to ensure suitable solutions for their realisation are chosen. Work on the land stations will start in 2024. The first delivery of the civil engineering work for the onshore converted expected in 2026.

"By working jointly on the designs, we can make choices at a much earlier stage. This contributes to the standardisation of the concept and ensures that we will face fewer surprises later in the process," said Kuijpers.

At present, TenneT's offshore grid connection capacity is around 7.2GW in the German North Sea and around 2.8GW in the Dutch North Sea. It claims its new 2GW program will reduces the number of grid connections required to transmit offshore wind energy ashore. The programme aims to see the installation of up to at least eight standardised offshore grid connections.

Earlier this year (13 January 2023), 4C Offshore reported that Hitachi Energy, and Petrofac have announced they have entered into early works agreements in support of TenneT’s 2 GW Programme. Under the terms of the agreements, the companies will begin preparatory work and detailed engineering to ensure timely delivery of the first two Dutch offshore converter stations for TenneT’s high voltage direct current (HVDC) offshore wind grid expansion.


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