Gasunie joins North Sea Wind Power Hub group

EUROPE: Gas infrastructure company Gasunie has joined a partnership investigating the possible development of a wind power hub in the North Sea.

An artist's impression of what the North Sea Power Hub could look like (pic: Tennet)

The firm joins transmission system operators (TSOs) Tennet Netherlands, Tennet Germany and Denmark's Energinet in the North Sea Wind Power Hub consortium.

The group aims to create a hub capable of supporting offshore wind farms with a total capacity of 100GW between 2030 and 2050. Tennet first unveiled plans for the hub in June 2016.

Under the plans, up to 100GW of offshore wind capacity could be connected via the island — possibly located in the Dogger Bank area — to shore.

Electricity transmission cables could transmit wind energy to the UK, Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium and allow them to trade electricity across borders.

The Dutch TSO, Tennet, along with its German subsidiary signed a collaboration agreement with Danish operator Energinet in March to further develop the concept.

Expected surpluses could be converted into hydrogen gas for large-scale storage before being transported to land via the existing offshore gas infrastructure, the consortium said.

By increasing connectivity between offshore projects and grid systems, economies of scale would reduce costs, the consortium added.

The hub could help the EU meet its climate targets as part of the Paris Climate agreement, the group added.