Artificial North Sea Island could become world’s largest wind power farm

Dutch energy company TenneT has unveiled ambitious plans to build the North Sea Wind Power Hub, an artificial island which could supply renewable energy to 80 million Europeans by as early as 2027.

TenneT’s plans outline how a 6km² island will be created in the Dogger Bank region of the North Sea, before being populated with thousands of wind turbines.

Dogger Bank is a shallow area of the sea, located around 125km off the East coast of the UK, which has consistently recorded high wind readings.

The electricity produced from the turbines would then provide power, via long distance cables to six European countries – the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Norway, Germany and Denmark.

Wider plans within the North Sea Wind Power Hub project involves the construction of an airport, harbors and crucially converters which change wind-generated electricity from AC to DC.

“It’s crucial for industry to continue with the cost reduction path,” said Rob van der Hage, who manages TenneT’s offshore wind grid development programme.

“The big challenge we are facing towards 2030 and 2050 is onshore wind is hampered by local opposition and nearshore is nearly full. It’s logical we are looking at areas further offshore.”

Current cost estimates for the project stand at US$1.75 billion, with TenneT likely to shoulder much of this figure although national energy network operators will likely be required to help pay for the long distance power cable.