TenneT bolsters transmission capacity to over 7GW

By: Tom Russell

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14/01/2020 TenneT

In 2019, transmission system operator TenneT exceeded the German government’s 2020 expansion targets for North Sea wind power transmission capacity.

TenneT's current total of twelve operating offshore grid connection systems for the transmission of wind energy from the German North Sea to land alone now deliver a total capacity of 7,132 MW. The federal government’s target for the North Sea and Baltic Sea for 2020 was 6,500 MW.

"We are pleased that we have already achieved the goal set by the federal government ahead of schedule,"
said TenneT Managing Director Tim Meyerjürgens, "and with the three other offshore grid connections currently being implemented, we will be capable of delivering 10,000 megawatts of transmission capacity from the North Sea in 2025 in Germany alone. We are pushing ahead with grid expansion on land just as rigorously, because this holistic approach is the key to a successful energy transition.”

The wind energy transmitted from the North Sea by TenneT reached a new record in 2019, with 20.21 TWh. This would be enough to cover the annual consumption of more than six million households. The 2019 result exceeded the previous year's value (16.75 TWh) by 20.7 percent. Measured against Germany’s total wind output (122.07 TWh, offshore and onshore counted together), the North Sea wind power yield achieved a share of 16.6 percent in 2019.

"We also successfully put our first offshore grid connection into operation in the Netherlands in 2019. By 2023 we will develop the connected load there to 3,500 megawatts. In addition, we are advancing our 'green projects' and innovations in order to achieve the climate targets we are aiming for in Germany and Europe,”
said Meyerjürgens.

From the end of 2020,
NordLink will for the first time connect the electricity markets of Germany and Norway directly with one another, and link German wind energy with Norwegian hydropower in a mutual exchange. Together with partners in the automotive industry, TenneT is currently looking at test runs to store and exchange electricity between electric cars and the grid.

TenneT is also investigating how may it be possible to cover Central Europe’s electricity demand using wind energy alone. TenneT has developed the idea of North Sea Wind Power Hubs, which will open up to 180 HW of offshore wind energy by 2045 and simultaneously better interconnect the grids of the countries bordering on the North Sea.

“Together with our European partners, we are pursuing a modular, step-by-step approach, which will later include a combination with power-to-gas systems. This is not science fiction: A first hub with a capacity of 10 to 15 gigawatts could go into operation in the early 2030s,”
said Meyerjürgens.

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About the Author

4C Offshore | Tom Russell