We are primarily tasked with providing power transmission services, system services and facilitating the energy market. Our core tasks follow from our appointment as grid operator under the Dutch 'Elektriciteitswet' (E-wet) and the German 'Energiewirtschaftsgesetz' (EnWG).
Offshore wind is essential in achieving the energy transition. In the 2030 Roadmap for offshore wind energy, the government states that more than 11 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind farms will be built and connected to land by 2030. This is 40% of the current electricity consumption of the Netherlands. This lets us contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Roadmap between now and the end of 2030
Alongside the 3.5 GW agreed in 2015, TenneT will connect another 6.1 GW of offshore wind energy to the Dutch high voltage grid between 2024 and 2030. These are the wind energy areas Hollandse Kust (west), Ten Noorden van de Wadden, and IJmuiden Ver. The government has designated these areas for generating more sustainable energy.
- 2024: 700 MW Hollandse Kust (west) Alpha (AC)
- 2025: 700 MW Hollandse Kust (west) Beta (AC)
- 2026: 700 MW Ten Noorden van de Waddeneilanden (AC)
- 2027: 2.000 MW IJmuiden Ver Alpha (DC)
- 2029: 2.000 MW IJmuiden Ver Beta (DC)
Further from the coast
An undersea high-voltage connection is needed to transport the electricity to land. TenneT will establish eight standard alternating current (AC) connections, each with a capacity of 700 MW, up to and including 2026. Wind farms will be built further away from the coast in the IJmuiden Ver wind energy region from 2027. Given the large capacity (2 GW per connection), and to limit the loss of energy during transport, TenneT is carrying out this connection as a direct current (DC) connection.
The investments in offshore wind energy also offer opportunities for the future. The aim is to make optimum use of the offshore grid infrastructure and to reduce the societal costs. We are conducting research into new innovative solutions to this end. Examples include a connection between the IJmuiden Ver wind region and the United Kingdom (a so-called ‘wind connector’), and the electrification of oil and gas platforms.
On behalf of the Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate, TenneT is investigating the possibility of making more efficient use of the grid infrastructure for the IJmuiden Ver wind region, by connecting it to the United Kingdom through a wind connector. Like a conventional interconnector, a wind connector enables cross-border electricity transmission. The difference is that this cross-border functionality is combined with the infrastructure connecting offshore wind farms to the national electricity grid. Investigation is being undertaken into connecting one of the platforms making up the IJmuiden Ver offshore wind project to the United Kingdom via a planned British wind farm. Another option is a direct connection from an IJmuiden Ver offshore wind platform to the British mainland. More information can be found on the central government’s website.
Optimal use of offshore grid capacity: electrification of oil and gas platforms
We are also conducting research into the connection and electrification of offshore oil and gas platforms from Tennet’s offshore grid. This will allow part of the electricity generated offshore to be used by these oil and gas platforms, without the need for transportation to land. A large gas platform can very easily use around 30 MW of electrical energy for compression to produce gas and for transport to land. A direct electrical connection to the oil and gas platforms will also reduce carbon emissions significantly, because the energy required for compression is no longer based on fossil energy, but on wind.
With this electricity consumption directly at sea, TenneT is exploring the possibility of offshore wind turbines producing more wind energy than currently planned, without the capacity of the offshore grid infrastructure needing to be increased.
There are also investigations into how the grid can be used to transport electricity from land to sea at times when there is less offshore wind.
Research into system integration: hydrogen
Offshore wind plays a key role in our energy transition. Not only does it provide us with considerable sustainable electricity, but in the long term it will also be an important source of green hydrogen, enabling sectors other than electricity to also become more sustainable. TenneT joined Gasunie in investigating the possibilities for offshore hydrogen conversion for the Offshore Grid Programme up to 2030. However, this turned out to not yet be economically feasible within this time window. But the study did show a role for the production of onshore hydrogen so as to contribute to the further integration of energy systems. TenneT is also taking the possibility of offshore hydrogen conversion into account for the longer term.