Network operator TenneT and energy company RWE have signed agreements for an offshore grid connection of OranjeWind, a wind farm to be built 53 kilometres off the Dutch coast. The Connection & Transmission Agreement (CTA) and Realisation Agreement (REA) cover the realisation of the grid connection and the transmission of the electricity produced by RWE’s wind farm on TenneT’s platform. The agreements not only specify planning, but also how the electricity will be delivered from the wind farm to ensure stability in the grid. The connection will link to the high-voltage substation in Wijk aan Zee and will be operational by 2026.
Sven Utermöhlen, CEO RWE Offshore Wind: “I am pleased that we were able to sign the contracts so quickly, as these agreements guarantee the transport of the electricity generated by the OranjeWind wind farm. This is an important milestone in the project that brings us one step closer to realising our perfect match for system integration and supplying sustainable electricity to over one million households in the Netherlands. For this, good cooperation with TenneT is essential.”
Innovations in OranjeWind
The wind farm will have an installed capacity of almost 800 MW and uses a combination of smart innovations and investments to achieve a perfect balance of supply and demand. These innovations include floating solar panels, a subsea lithium-ion battery and a LiDAR system to predict power production more accurately. In addition, RWE will invest in onshore system integration, such as electrolysis capacity and e-boilers, to match power generation and offtake. RWE is also developing solutions for smartly charging electric vehicles.
The timeline for the offshore wind farm is ambitious. To complete the project and deliver renewable power from 2027, agreements with partners such as TenneT are indispensable. Since 2016, TenneT has been the offshore grid operator in the Netherlands, transporting wind power generated at sea to the onshore grid. The Dutch government has designated these wind power areas in the North Sea for the generation of renewable energy.
“The connection of this wind farm marks another important step in the goals towards a sustainable energy system,” says Marco Kuijpers, Director Offshore Projects of TenneT. “Through the innovations in this project with offshore solar panels and batteries, we can jointly gain experience in building the energy system of the future. We look forward to a good cooperation with RWE and we are happy that together we can make a major contribution to the Dutch energy transition.”
TenneT is realising seven standard offshore alternating current (AC) connections in the Netherlands, each with an average capacity of 700 MW. From 2029, wind farms further offshore will be fitted with 2 GW of standard direct current (DC) connections.
RWE invests heavily in offshore wind power
RWE is one of the world’s leading companies in offshore wind, active across the entire value chain, from project conception and development to construction as well as operation and maintenance. RWE plans to expand its renewable energy portfolio in the Benelux region. Offshore wind farms are therefore an essential part of the company’s sustainability strategy.
In Europe, RWE owns and operates offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of 3.3 GW (RWE pro rata).
The largest projects include the 1,400 megawatt Sofia offshore wind farm currently under construction off the UK coast and the recently commissioned 342 megawatt Kaskasi offshore wind farm off the German island of Heligoland. In addition, new offshore markets, such as America and Japan, will contribute substantially to RWE’s position as a world leader.