TenneT, the German transmission system operator, has granted $32 billion in contracts to three consortia for the development of North Sea offshore grid connections. The contracts, which cover the production and installation of 14 offshore grid connection systems, were signed with the consortia of GE/Sembcorp, GE/McDermott, and Siemens Energy/Dragados. This will produce enough offshore power transmission capacity from the German and Dutch North Seas to power 28 large-scale power plants.

TenneT has finished the contracting procedure for maritime and land-based converter stations, which will begin operations in August 2022. By the end of March 2023, the company had already selected 11 of the systems. Three more systems have recently been introduced.

The grid connection systems, which are expected to be finished in 2031, will use innovative 2 GW technology that can convert alternating power into direct current and vice versa. The consortia members anticipate producing these systems solely in Europe, boosting local economies in the process. TenneT aims to make Europe’s North Sea a centre for the production of sustainable energy.

In March 2023, TenneT awarded offshore cable systems contracts to Prysmian and NKT for two grid connection projects in the Netherlands. The IJmuiden Ver Alpha and Nederwiek I projects would link two future offshore wind farms in the Dutch North Sea to the province of Zeeland in the country’s southwest. In total, the two contracts are estimated to be worth $1.9 billion.

REGlobal’s Views: These contracts are critical for transmission of offshore wind power from the North Sea to demand centers in Europe. North Sea is emerging as an important hub for offshore wind development owing to European nations’ intentions to improve their energy security and become independent of fossil fuels.