Siemens Energy and Dragados win 4GW German North Sea offshore wind converter order

Transmission system operator (TSO) Amprion has awarded Siemens Energy and Dragados Offshore a €4 billion-plus contract to build two new 2GW converter stations to help connect German North Sea wind farms to the onshore grid.

Siemens Energy built the 900MW BorWin gamma converter platform in the German North Sea. It was commissioned in 2020
Siemens Energy built the 900MW BorWin gamma converter platform in the German North Sea. It was commissioned in 2020

The German-Spanish consortium will build the converter stations for the LanWin1 and LanWin 3 offshore grid connection systems.

These 390km links will convert wind turbines’ alternating current and convert it to direct current, helping to connect North Sea offshore wind farms to the onshore transmission grid in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

Together, the systems could help to meet the electricity needs of about 4 million people with offshore wind.

The systems are due online in 2029 and 2030 – two and three years ahead of an earlier schedule – respectively.

They are therefore due online to help Germany towards its goal of 30GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

The timeline for installing converter stations will be an “enormous challenge”, according to Carsten Lehmköster, managing director at Amprion.

“The market is currently extremely tense. The required shipyards for converter platforms are especially deficient in Germany and Europe,” he said. “That is why two or three years of acceleration are an enormous challenge."

German electrical giant Siemens Energy described the 2GW converter stations as a “decisive technological leap” as previously it has installed projects with a transmission capacity of 900MW. It explained that it uses a “bipolar configuration” for its 2GW systems, meaning they can effectively operate at twice the voltage and transmit twice the power.

It will manufacture all the high-voltage equipment for the two connection systems, including converter technology, transformers and switchgear, as well as maintain the systems for ten years.

Meanwhile, Spanish engineering firm Dragados Offshore will build the associated platforms offshore and install them offshore

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