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TenneT Awards $25B in Contracts for Offshore Wind Power Transmission

2GW offshore transmission platform
Illustration courtesy TenneT

Published Apr 3, 2023 2:12 AM by The Maritime Executive

Transmission network operator TenneT has announced a landmark package of contract awards for offshore wind cable and transmission station infrastructure in the North Sea. The $25 billion parcel of orders will supply 40 GW worth of power transmission capacity in German and Dutch waters, enabling two-thirds of the 65GW offshore wind energy target set by Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium.

"This is one of the most important infrastructure projects of the century; the green transformation of the energy system is key for the decarbonization of industry," said Tim Meyerjürgens, COO TenneT, in a statement Sunday. "Together we secure decisive acceleration of the offshore grid development and set the course for the future European energy landscape.”

The prime contractors include three consortia: Hitachi Energy/Petrofac, with six projects; GE/SMOP, with three projects; and GE/McDermott/Sembmarine, with two projects. Three more awards are expected to be announced soon. 

Preparatory work will begin immediately, TenneT said, to ensure that the full scope will be finished on time in 2028-2031. 

"We are already hiring to expand our global delivery capacity and effectively fulfill these and other orders," said Niklas Persson, Managing Director at Hitachi Energy Grid Integration.

The massive long-term contract package is part of a deliberate strategy to build and sustain a supply chain, giving vendors visibility into their project pipeline for years to come. TenneT worked with its partners to develop a standardized offshore platform, cable system and onshore substation design, which will be replicated across the portfolio. A set of much larger 2GW offshore platforms and a new 525 kilovolt HVDC power transmission system will reduce the number of grid connections required, cutting down on cost and seabed disturbance during installation. HVDC is also cheaper to build than an AC system for longer distances, and this new generation of infrastructure will be serving wind farms further offshore. 

TenneT says that it has also taken long-term plans for an international subsea power transmission network into account in the design.