Belgium’s King Philippe has inaugurated what has been described as the first ‘power hub’ in an offshore windfarm in the North Sea
The switching platform 40 km off the coast of Belgium will combine electricity generated by four offshore windfarms – Rentel, Seastar, Mermaid and Northwester 2 – for onward transmission to the mainland. This is more efficient than transmitting the power via individual cables and improves security of supply. Bringing together the cables from the four windfarms saves 40 km of cable overall.
The Modular Offshore Grid (MOG) is due to be completed by the end of 2020 and is a switching platform, not a transformer platform, making it unique in Europe. It is connected by 130 km of 220-kV cables to Elia’s high-voltage Stevin substation in Zeebrugge. From there power is transmitted to consumers via the country’s transmission and distribution system.
The platform off the Belgian coast enables the windfarms to maximise the transmission of the electricity they generate to the mainland. At 28 cm in diameter, the cables in the MOG are the largest diameter subsea cables in the North Sea.
The jacket foundation for the platform was installed in November 2018 and the topside in April 2019. The unmanned platform is controlled from Elia’s National Control Centre.
Elia Group chief executive Chris Peeters said the MOG “marks a major step forward towards incorporating more renewable energy into our system.”