European grid operators plan modular offshore wind link

TSOs have launched a scheme to work towards pan-European interconnection for offshore wind. But some key players have not joined yet

Seven grid operators operating in Germany, Sweden, Spain, France, Norway and Italy have launched the Eurobar scheme (pic: 50Hertz)
Seven grid operators operating in Germany, Sweden, Spain, France, Norway and Italy have launched the Eurobar scheme (pic: 50Hertz)

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Seven European transmission system operators (TSOs) plan to work together to interconnect offshore wind farms across the continent.

They would initially use current regulations and projects to enable point-to-point connections, before potentially evolving into an interlinked offshore network.

The partners added that the nascent network would be built in modules and implemented autonomously. This means they would need to work towards developing a joint approach for offshore infrastructure to connect wind farms to a pan-European transmission system.

This could eventually enable the offshore wind farms to be integrated into pan-European offshore networks, the TSOs explained.

The Eurobar scheme includes 50Hertz and Amprion (Germany), Svenska Kraftnät (Sweden), Red Eléctrica de España (Spain), Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (France), Statnett (Norway) and Terna (Italy).

However, notable absences include: National Grid, which operates in the UK – the world’s largest offshore wind market, and which has left the European Union (EU); and Tennet, which operates in the Netherlands – which led Europe for offshore wind installations last year, as well as in Germany – Europe's second biggest offshore market after the UK.

Amprion CEO Hans-Jürgen Brick said: “Cooperation and exchange are key to the success of our initiative, therefore it is and remains permanently open to interested new parties.”

In Novermber 2020, the EU set a target of having up to 300GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2050.

At the time, Germany's association of ofshore wind farm operators, the BWO, identified the need for transnational projects – rather than individual national projects – to help meet this target.

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