The artificial North Sea Wind Power hub island has the capability of producing energy to nearly 80 million people across Europe. The site is due to be operational by the year 2027 and will generate electricity to six countries in Europe.
Site plans suggest the artificial island will be developed at the end of the Dogger Bank in the north sea with substantial high wind levels. The plan includes the development of thousands of wind turbines with relatively short alternating current connections to the island. The island will be part of the North Sea Wind Power Hub project and include transmitting the energy via cables to the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, and Denmark.
Figure: TenneT will be leading the project
Supporting the project is Dutch power operator TenneT. The business believes the artificial island will be significantly cheaper than traditional wind farms and highlighted how essential it was that the industry continues to work towards reducing costs. The manager of the offshore wind development program emphasized that local opposition towards onshore wind is the key challenge facing the wind industry and as a result suggests building offshore makes more sense. Whilst some critics have suggested building an island will pose a challenge, TenneT Have been quick to highlight the previous islands developments that have occurred, with little issues in the Netherlands.
The North Sea Wind Power Hub Consortium
Back in 2016, nine countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and Luxembourg agreed to develop offshore wind parks in an attempt to reduce costs and ultimately make wind power more cost-effective. Early 2017 say Tenne T Netherlands and Germany, along with Danish business Energinet sign an agreement to extend the development of this project. The hope was that Norway, the UK, and Belgium would also participate in this project further. Late last year, Dutch grid operator Gasunie joined the group, suggesting the wind power generated be converted to gas and use nearby offshore gas facilities for storage and transport.
Cost is the biggest challenge facing the project success
The construction of the power generation capacity will be in the hands of wind farm developers. Whilst TenneT will likely cover the large of the cost of building the main hub of the project, the site will really require the support of energy network operators such as the UK National Grid to support the long-distance cable requirements. This year will see the rollout of the long-term plan and whilst many views it as a highly ambitious project, TenneT believes it is completely feasible. The business believes that once complete, the project could consist of a capacity double the current size of the total offshore wind power generated across the whole of Europe. That statement is significant and something investors are interested to be involved in.