RWE, a German energy giant, has finalised offshore grid connection agreements with network operator TenneT for the OranjeWind offshore wind project. The offshore wind facility will have approximately 800 MW of capacity and will be built 53 km off the Dutch coast. The realisation of the grid connection and the transmission of the power produced by RWE’s wind farm on TenneT’s platform are included in the scope of the connection, transmission, and realisation agreements.

In addition to outlining the planning, these agreements will specify how the wind farm’s renewable energy will be provided in order to maintain grid stability. Furthermore, to estimate power output more accurately, OranjeWind will have floating solar panels, a subsea lithium-ion battery, and a LiDAR system. By 2026, the connection, which will connect to the high-voltage substation in Wijk aan Zee, will be operational.

In September 2023, RWE started offshore construction at its 1 GW Sofia offshore wind project on Dogger Bank in the central North Sea, 195 km off the north-east coast of the UK. Prysmian, which was the project’s cable contractor, used its vessel Leonardo da Vinci to lay the first section of high-voltage direct current export cable to send the power generated from the wind farm back onshore and finally to the UK transmission network 220 km away in Redcar, Teesside.

REGlobal’s Views: Europe is witnessing a major surge in transmission-related projects to cater to the upcoming offshore wind projects. The continent, which witnessed an energy crisis and gas shortage, has opted for large offshore wind farms to ensure energy security. However, the issue with delays in permitting processes must be addressed to enable this large-scale grid build-up.