Offshore Grid: Optimising the Offshore Electricity Grid in Northern Europe
3E was the coordinator of the European project OffshoreGrid that started in May 2009 and was finalised in November 2011 (www.offshoregrid.eu). OffshoreGrid was a techno-economic study that was realized in the framework of the Intelligent Energy Europe Programme (IEE). It was the first large-scale study to perform a detailed cost-benefit analysis of offshore electricity infrastructure developments in the Northern European Seas, taking into account technical, economic and regulatory aspects. Various design concepts have been brought forward and assessed. The project was aimed at policy-makers, TSOs and the relevant regulatory authorities in Europe. The project consortium consisted of 3E (coordinator), EWEA, dena, Econnect, SINTEF, ECBREC IEO, NTUA, University of Oldenburg.
In short, OffshoreGrid used a European Power System model and a tailor-made infrastructure cost model to assess the costs and benefits of different modular design concepts (hubs, tee-in and hub-to-hub interconnectors) for integrated offshore grids. Based on these evaluations, two different overall grid designs for the North Seas have been developed and analysed. The results were used to develop policy and regulatory recommendations to pave the way towards a cost-efficient European integrated grid.
The project is internationally regarded as a step forward and an important reference in the field. As the coordinator and technical-strategic expert, 3E has collaborated closely together with DG Energy, NSCOGI, ENTSO-E and several other important stakeholders throughout the project duration. A follow-up project has been awarded NorthSeaGrid.