TenneT launches 2 GW cable project

April 20, 2020

TenneT has contracted an international group of cable suppliers to develop a new 2 GW submarine cable connection for offshore wind projects planned off the Dutch and German coasts.

The grid operator has contracted eight producers of subsea cables to deliver the project, which will deploy a 525kV high-voltage distributed current (HVDC) extruded submarine cable system with a 2GW connection.

The project will result in a certified cable system which TenneT will initially apply in the IJmuiden Ver offshore wind area in the Dutch North Sea, and the BalWin and LanWin projects off the German coast.

The system will be ready for deployment in early 2022. Using 525kV HVDC technology will reduce costs and minimise spatial impact, TenneT said.

Participating suppliers are Hellenic Cables, based in Greece, LS Cable & System, in South Korea, Nexans, in Norway, Sweden-based NKT HV Cables, Prysmian, in Italy, Japan-based Sumitomo Electric Industries and Chinese supplies Ningbo Orient Wires & Cables and Zhongtian Technology Submarine Cable (ZTT).

Around 40% of the Netherlands’ electricity will come from offshore wind farms by 2030 and TenneT will develop the grid connections for these wind farms.

Alongside the 700 MW of alternate current (AC) grid connections already planned, two 2GW offshore grid connections will be built in the IJmuiden Ver wind energy area.

Three additional 2 GW offshore grid connections in the LanWin and Balwin area will increase TenneT’s offshore grid connection capacity in Germany to more than 17 GW by 2030.

TenneT offshore projects director Marco Kuijpers said: “It is very positive to see that multiple international cable suppliers are participating in this programme. It shows that the sector is keen to innovate together to produce a new standard for submarine cable systems substantially reducing costs for society.”

The new, certified system will connect a 2 GW platform and a land station. To transport the required 2 GW power, a submarine cable system operating at a voltage level 525kV DC with extruded insulation will be developed.

The eight cable suppliers will develop and test the cable system within the timeframe for the 2 GW projects. TenneT will be in close contact with them during the entire process.

TenneT expects that the development of the 525 kV DC submarine cable system will result in a certified cable system in spring 2022.

TenneT said the bundled installation will achieve “significant” cost reductions, through reduced installation and dredging expenditure as the cables will be put in a single trench.The system will also reduce the number of platforms and land stations.