Dortmund-based transmission system operator Amprion has unveiled a ‘networking concept’ for offshore windfarms across Europe
The aim of the European Offshore Busbar (Eurobar) concept is to integrate power from offshore wind into the European grid in such a way that it makes the best possible contribution to climate objectives in Germany and the rest of Europe.
“Amprion has put forward Eurobar to utilise offshore wind energy efficiently throughout Europe,” said the company, which is not currently involved in the offshore wind market.
“The concept proposes that new-generation offshore platforms in the North Sea should be designed from the planning stage to be connected to an offshore network.
“They can then be connected up to each other step by step at a later stage – initially at a national level, and then between North Sea neighbours.
“By networking, wind energy can be transported flexibly across borders to wherever it is needed. This will reduce the need for additional grid development on land.”
Amprion chief executive Dr Hans-Jürgen Brick said, “If we want to have a climate-neutral energy system by 2050, we have to begin to develop it today.
“Trans-European integration of offshore wind power will play a special role – and we have to get to grips with it quickly. Planning and construction (for offshore grids) takes years but they remain operational for many more years.”
Amprion chief technology officer Dr Klaus Kleinekorte said, “On land, we have been using the benefits of an interlinked power network for many decades. Amprion intends to translate this integration concept to the offshore network with Eurobar.
“The idea is a seamless extension of our network concept on land. The overriding aim is to develop an overall system for onshore and offshore energy. This can also be connected to other sectors, such as power-to-gas technology.”
Dr Kleinekorte said the key to networking offshore windfarms is standardisation, particularly of offshore platforms and their connection systems. “Eurobar will intensify European collaboration in offshore development,” he claimed.
“Amprion chief financial officer Peter Rüth said Eurobar “can be implemented independently by international partners, whether states or network operators.
“The only condition required for networking is the use of common technical standards, that need to be developed and applied before future offshore platforms are built.
“We will now be working together with our partners in industry and among network operators on resolving the technical issues and advocating standardisation on a European level,” he said.
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