TenneT to build Dutch offshore grid

European transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT has been chosen by the Dutch government to construct the Netherlands' offshore grid.

The TSO, which is also developing Germany's 7.1GW offshore power network, plans to build grid connections with a total capacity of 3.45GW to support construction of wind farms in Dutch waters through to 2023.

“TenneT is keen to contribute to the energy transition in the Netherlands by realising a future-proof offshore grid," said its CEO Mel Kroon.

"A co-ordinated effort to connect offshore wind farms will lead to lower social costs and reduce the impact on the human environment. This structured approach offers many benefits compared to realising individual connections."

Kroon adds that the deal, which was brokered by the Social and Economic Council of the Netherlands, will "result in a range of synergy benefits in areas such as financing, procurement, standardisation and knowledge development".

TenneT is planning to use AC connections based on large standardised offshore platforms for the Dutch offshore grid, as part of cost-reduction strategy based around economies of scale and a smaller number of hubs for plugging in future wind farms.

In Germany, high voltage direct current (HVDC) technology and offshore converter platforms are generally used to curb energy losses during transmission from far offshore projects. AC links have been opted for off the Netherlands as wind farms there will be located closer to shore.

The newbuild Dutch transmission infrastructure will underpin wind energy production capable of supplying annual electricity needs of some one million households, equal to nearly one-seventh of the country's population.

The Netherlands' government, which is targeting having 14% of all power produced from renewable sources by 2020, rising to 16% by 2023,  is expected to shortly announce its road map for offshore wind build-out, including locations for the developments and the sequence in which they will be built, with TenneT then preparing a detailed grid plan.