Ørsted plans modular Danish energy island for offshore wind

Ørsted and partners plan energy island with additional modules that can be added as offshore wind expansion accelerates

Ørsted has previously helped to develop nearly 1GW of operational offshore wind capacity off its native Denmark
Ørsted has previously helped to develop nearly 1GW of operational offshore wind capacity off its native Denmark

Ørsted has set out a high level view of how it would build an offshore energy island’, as planned by the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) in the North Sea west of Jutland. 

The Danish developer and its partner ATP said their offer would be developed with construction partners Aarsleff, Bouygues Construction and Van Oord

Their plan is initially for a small artificial island, which can be expanded with flexible modules that can be built onshore and added or replaced as required. In this way it hopes to reduce the timetable to deliver the first green power by two years, compared with “an inflexible, contained island”. 

The modules may accommodate developments in power-to-x, such as hydrogen, and other technologies.

The group added that with Danish renewable energy know-how and international experience with large maritime projects, “we see great export potential in our modular island concept”.

Their announcement comes a week after the DEA opened a follow-up dialogue on geotechnical requirements for the island, 80km off the town of Thorsminde.

The DEA says that the dialogue, which is open until 29 April, will allow it to optimise the framework for the artificial island, in order to receive “as thorough and qualified bids as possible” and “ensure the best and most cost effective design” in a tender due to open later this year. Operation is planned in 2033.

The government agency estimates that it will cost DKK 10 billion (€1.34 billion) to build the island, and DKK 70 billion for the electrical system and links to shore. Belgium has already signed a cooperation agreement to be linked to it, and further links are expected with Germany, the Netherlands, and possibly Norway and the UK.

Initially, the energy island will handle the power from wind farms in the region totalling 3GW, but by 2040 the capacity will be expanded to 10GW.

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