German transmission system operator 50Hertz and Danish grid operator Energinet have agreed to collaborate to develop an offshore energy hub, the ‘Bornholm Energy Island,’ in the Baltic
The hub will connect Denmark and Germany to around 2 GW of offshore wind generation capacity.
50Hertz chief executive Stefan Kapferer and Energinet chief executive Thomas Egebo signed a letter of intent regarding the joint initiative on 21 January 2021.
The project will connect Germany and Denmark by means of an interconnector. Electricity from offshore windfarms in the Bornholm area will be fed into the interconnector. In subsequent phases of the project, connections to other states and offshore windfarms in the Baltic will also be developed.
The windfarms will be constructed approximately 20 km to the south and southwest of Bornholm and connected to a hub on the island. 50Hertz and Energinet said the fact that the hub will use an existing island is advantageous compared to similar plans that involve the construction of artificial islands.
Mr Kapferer said, “The seas that surround us are of central importance in the energy transition. Together with Energinet, we want to launch a project in which we are not only making technological progress, but breaking new ground with a hybrid, transnational initiative.”
Mr Egebo said, “If we are to succeed with the massive expansion of offshore wind it is vital that a significant change of gear takes place, from purely national projects to transnational projects.”
Signing of the letter of intent was preceded by several important political decisions. In September 2020, Baltic states including Germany and Denmark signed a joint statement on co-operation on offshore wind.
Shortly afterwards, in December 2020, transmission system operators in the region formed the ‘Baltic Sea Offshore Grid Initiative’ to help drive the development of offshore wind in the region.
Prior to the letter of intent between 50Hertz and Energinet, the governments of Denmark and Germany also signed an agreement that will see them intensify co-operation in the development of offshore wind.