UK and Dutch grid operators planning to link offshore wind farms

Grid operators from the UK and the Netherlands are exploring the possibility of connecting the two countries’ offshore wind farms with subsea electricity cables by 2029.

National Grid Ventures, the commercial arm of UK operator National Grid, and Dutch transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT are drawing up plans to connect up to 4GW of offshore wind, which would provide an additional 2GW of interconnection capacity.

The companies explained that it would also enable spare transmission capacity to be used to trade electricity between the countries, increasing the potential utilisation of offshore infrastructure.

Both the UK and the Netherlands have established ambitious targets to expand offshore wind capacity in the North Sea, with the former recently announcing it was targeting 40GW by 2030, while the Dutch have targeted 11.5GW by 2030 and 20-40GW by 2050.

“Delivering such large-scale offshore wind growth efficiently will require significant amounts of new infrastructure and close cooperation between countries around the North Sea,” said National Grid and TenneT in a joint statement.

TenneT chief executive Manon van Beek said: “This agreement allows us to work with National Grid in the North Sea to develop innovative infrastructure that uses every spare electron of offshore wind generation to reach our decarbonisation targets.”