Amprion advances plans for German wind transmission corridors

Transmission system operator Amprion and technology firm Hitachi Energy have concluded a strategic agreement for the preferential delivery of four converter stations to be used for Germany’s direct-current Korridor B project.

Düsseldorf district government has started the spatial planning process for the Windader West corridor (pic credit: Bildagentur-online/Universal Images Group)

The project will see two new 2GW underground cable connections transport electricity from the North Sea coast in Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony to the Ruhr area in 2030.

The transmission capacity can be increased by a further 4GW using additional empty pipes, Amprion said. With a total of up to 8GW of transport capacity, the project is a central component of Germany’s energy transition.

Amprion intends to commission the construction of the converters, which it says are worth a single-digit billion amount, by October 2024. The converters will be built in the vicinity of the network connection points Heide, Wilhelmshaven, Polsum and Hamm.

Amprion revealed plans in August for another transmission corridor, Windader West, which it hopes will bring another 8GW of offshore wind energy to North Rhine-Westphalia via four offshore grid connection systems.

The submarine cables originate in the North Sea and are bundled as underground cables from the coast to their network connection points in the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.

The lines end at the Lower Rhine substations in Wesel (NOR-21-1), Kusenhorst between Dorsten, Marl and Haltern (NOR-15-1), Rommerskirchen in Bergheim (NOR-17-1) and Oberzier (NOR-19-1).

In 2032, the first 2GW of offshore power is expected to flow to North Rhine-Westphalia via a line on the West Windader. The remaining three lines are scheduled to go into operation in 2033, 2034 and 2036.

A converter station is required near the respective grid connection point, which converts the incoming direct current into alternating current and feeds it into the onshore power grid. Possible areas for the converter locations around the network connection points are currently being identified, the company said.

The spatial planning process for the four offshore connections has only just started with the Düsseldorf district government for North Rhine-Westphalia and the Weser-Ems regional development office for Lower Saxony. Public consultation is not expected to begin before 2024.