Two key contracts that will contribute to the DolWin 2 offshore wind cable cluster have been announced recently, signalling progress toward ensuring timely grid connections for Gode Wind 1 and Innogy Nordsee 1 wind farms.
In both cases, the contracts focus on the supply and installation of high voltage 155kV alternating current cables (HVAC) linking the wind farms’ electricity transformer platforms to the DolWin beta offshore converter station. DolWin beta is currently under construction at Drydocks World’s facility in Dubai, due for completion by the end of 2013.
DolWin beta will transmit the wind farms’ power to land, via a 135km direct current (DC) cable running to an onshore convertor station at Dörpen West.
The cables for Gode Wind 1 will be supplied and installed by General Cable’s German submarine cable subsidiary, Norddeutshche Seekabelwerke (NSW), with transmission system operator (TSO) for the German North Sea region, TenneT, the client. Gode Wind 1 is due to commence electricity generation in 2015.
"This new order further strengthens our position in the market for high-voltage submarine cable systems," said General Cable senior vice president, Thorsten Schwarz.
Meanwhile, J-Power Systems (JPS) will produce the cables that will link Innogy Nordsee 1’s transformer platform with DolWin beta convertor station, while installation will be the responsibility of Siem Offshore Contractors (SOC). Cable installation is scheduled for the second half of 2014.
While some of Germany’s offshore wind projects have been put on hold in recent months due to a lack of clarity about the timing of grid connections, Gode Wind 1 is one German North Sea offshore wind farm that is likely to be prioritised for rapid development by new owner, Dong Energy. A primary reason for this is the fact that Gode Wind 1 comes with an unconditional grid connection pledge from TenneT.
RWE's commitment to Innogy Nordsee 1, which it owns, has been less clear. Earlier thsi year, the German energy company emphasised that it has not made a final investment decision about the project. It has yet to announce whether it has secured an unconditional grid connection pledge from TenneT. It was due to achieve this by the end of last month. In September, news emerged that it had signed a deal with REpower for the supply of 54 6MW turbines for Innogy Nordsee 1.