Europe, Renewables, T&D Infrastructure, Wind

DNV GL and TenneT sign North Sea HVDC pact

Certification group DNV GL and European electricity transmission system operator TenneT have signed a four-year framework agreement covering project certification of new high-voltage direct current substations in the German North Sea.

This follows an independent EU tendering process, whereby TenneT awarded the contract to DNV GL.

Under this framework agreement, DNV GL will carry out project certification for TenneT’s upcoming HVDC platforms, representing a cost-saving grid connection concept to connect offshore wind farms to some of TenneT’s upcoming German offshore converter platforms for the first time.

The agreement includes the certification of the planned DolWin5 converter platform that features a grid connection concept for wind farms that could dramatically reduce costs for the offshore wind industry.

The platform features an innovative connection concept to link for example the Borkum Riffgrund West I and II and Northern Energy OWP West wind farms to an offshore HVDC converter next to the windfarms.

The DolWin5 concept connects the wind turbines directly to the offshore platform via 66 kV cables. This removes the need for separate substations for each wind farm and the 155 kV cables previously used to connect the wind farm substation to the converter platform leading to huge cost savings. The platform aims to commence operations in 2024.

Tim Meyerjürgens, chief operating officer of TenneT, said: “This connection concept leads to an enormous cost reduction for the wind farms and the grid connection. With the 66 kV direct connection, we have developed a new generation of cost-efficient offshore grid connections for the German North Sea that will make an important contribution to the transformation of energy systems”.

Kim Mørk, executive vice president for Renewables Certification at DNV, said: “With the framework agreement DNV GL and TenneT are partnering in qualifying this new connection technology in Germany. We are already involved in over 80 per cent of German offshore wind projects and are committed to helping the global offshore wind industry to verify new products and technologies that improve the cost effectiveness of wind power and enable the clean energy transition. To this end, we continue to write and define new standards to enable the certification of new technologies.”

Project certification will be performed according to the BSH Standard Design, in order to verify compliance with requirements of the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH).

The certification according to these standards will no doubt boost stakeholder confidence in terms of reliable quality, stable operation and proper risk management of wind farms.