TenneT to invest up to €5bn p.a. for the energy transition

31.07.2020

The Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT has just published its first-half 2020 report. Needless to say, the second quarter of 2020 was characterised by the corona pandemic and the extensive measures taken to ensure a safe and healthy working environment, but despite this, the TSO has made significant progress in developing the transmission grid onshore and offshore and in integrating growing amounts of renewable electricity. At the same time, TenneT has maintained a high level of supply security of 99.99% for 42m end consumers in Germany and the Netherlands.

As Europe’s first cross-border TSO, TenneT promotes the European market integration. The TSCNET shareholder increasingly benefits from its binational integrated approach to grid planning, management, and operation. Manon van Beek, TenneT’s CEO, comments: “Sharing best practices and lessons learned between our German and Dutch operations is paying off more and more in terms of an integrated approach to offshore and onshore grid expansion, better grid utilisation due to European innovations and cross-border energy system planning.”

TenneT currently operates 14 offshore grid connections, twelve in the German and two in the Dutch North Sea. The twelfth offshore grid connection in Germany, BorWin 3, was handed over to TenneT in the first half of 2020. In Dutch waters, the Borssele Alpha grid connection recently transmitted offshore wind power for the first time and the Borssele Beta grid connection has now been commissioned well ahead of schedule. While in the offshore sector experience from the German market is used for the Dutch, the situation is the other way round when it comes to underground cabling. Here, expertise from the Dutch Randstadt project is applied for the DC connections SuedLink and SuedOstLink. These two largest projects of TenneT, which are being entirely installed underground, will be essential for the transmission of wind energy from northern to southern Germany.

Such efforts require huge investments – facilitated by solid financial results: The underlying operating result (EBIT) increased to €414m in the first half of 2020. During the same period, investments in the German and Dutch high and extra-high voltage grids also increased by approximately 30% compared to the first half of 2019, but will do so much more in the future. TenneT expects a further rise in the annual investment volume to €4 to 5bn in the next years. Otto Jager, CFO of TenneT, explains: “We are going to connect growing amounts of renewable electricity to the grid while facilitating the development of a borderless European electricity market. In light of future equity funding needs, the ongoing talks with the German government about a possible equity participation, next to the Dutch State, are welcomed by TenneT.”

TenneT presents Half-year Report 2020 (picture: TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)
> Open Half year report 2020 (pdf, 1.77Mb)

See article on single page

Borssele Beta is ready for the grid

31.07.2020

Borssele Beta is the second high-voltage grid connection for offshore wind farms in Dutch territorial waters of the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT. Like Borssele Alpha, the first Dutch offshore connection, it transmits green electricity generated in the Borssele wind farm area ashore, in this case from the Borssele III, IV and V wind farms. The operators of these three farms can hook up their wind turbines to the high-voltage grid one month earlier than scheduled, as TenneT has just received the “Grid Readiness” certification from the internationally accredited registrar and classification society DNV GL. This means that Borssele Beta fully complies with the criteria of the “Ontwikkelkader windenergie op zee”, the Offshore Wind Energy Development Framework of the Dutch Government.

The Borssele III, IV and V wind farms will have a total capacity of 700MW. The electricity generated here is collected by the offshore transformer platform, which converts the voltage from 66kV to 220kV for transmission via submarine cables to the onshore substation in Borssele. For feeding into the high-voltage grid, the voltage is then converted to 380kV. Marco Kuijpers, Director Offshore Projects at TenneT, comments on the rapid realisation: “We are proud of the fact that the second part of the Borssele high voltage connection is already complete and was realised within budget. Despite all the Covid-19 challenges, we were successful in continuing with the works; a huge achievement from all the contract parties involved.”

By the end of 2023, TenneT will have installed 3.5GW of offshore grid connections in the Netherlands, of which the first 1.4GW have already been achieved with Borssele Alpha and Beta. The next projects are Hollandse Kust (zuid) Alpha and Beta, followed by Hollandse Kust (noord). For these wind farms, TenneT will deploy five identical 700MW transformer platforms and identical 220kV cable connections. This standardisation allows TenneT to realise these projects faster, more efficiently, and more economically. The governmental Dutch follow-up roadmap for offshore development provides for an additional 6.1GW of offshore wind farms from 2024 to the end of 2030, located in the wind energy areas Hollandse Kust (west), Ten Noorden van de Waddeneilanden and IJmuiden Ver. Only for the first two, TenneT will again use standardised 700MW platforms. The efficient connection of IJmuiden Ver, located further out in the North Sea, partly requires other technologies based on DC instead of AC. IJmuiden Ver will have two offshore transformer platforms with a capacity of 2GW each, which is unique in the offshore wind industry.

The Borssele Beta offshore grid connection of TenneT is ready for transmission (picture: TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)

See article on single page

Borssele Beta platform topside ready for sail out

20.03.2020

In the Borssele offshore wind farm area in the south-western part of the Dutch North Sea, Borssele Alpha, the first and largest connection system for wind farms from the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) TenneT in Dutch territorial waters, is already in operation. Now the TSCNET shareholder is in the process of installing Borssele Beta to connect further wind farms, in this case Borssele III and IV that are still under construction. The topside of the offshore transformer platform for Borssele Beta is now ready for shipping. It was built at the construction yard of the offshore platform specialist HSM Offshore in Schiedam in the Rotterdam-The Hague metropolitan area and will be put to sea on 22 March 2020.

When the pontoon carrying the 3,650-tonne superstructure arrives at its destination, a crane vessel will place the top side on the platform substructure (jacket). The top side comprises three interior levels and an outer deck. It is 25 metres high, 58 metres long and 32 metres wide. The Borssele Beta grid connection will have a capacity of 700MW and is scheduled to be commissioned on 1 September 2020. The Borssele III, IV, and V wind farms, which are located about 22km from the coast, will be connected to this transmission system. Borssele V by the Two Towers consortium has been designated as an innovation site within the wind farm zone and will be connected to Borssele Beta. The electricity generated by these offshore wind farms will then be transported ashore via two 67-kilometre-long cables to the high-voltage transformer station near the town of Borssele in the Dutch province of Zeeland.

Marco Kuijpers, Director Offshore Projects a TenneT, comments on the TSO’s progress in offshore expansion: “With this platform, the offshore grid that TenneT is building in the Dutch North Sea is definitively taking shape. Borssele Beta is the second offshore grid connection built by TenneT. Over the coming eight years we will build a new offshore connection every year. I am proud that we are able to make such a significant contribution to the energy transition in which offshore wind energy plays a crucial role.”

TenneT also assumes a marine ecological responsibility and makes its offshore platforms available for other uses. The TSO cooperates in this respect with the Dutch Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat). The Borssele Beta offshore platform therefore also features a Maritime Information Provision Service Point (MIVSP). This is a monitoring station with various monitoring systems, such as nautical radars, meteorological systems and ecological monitoring systems. Similar stations are being installed on every TenneT offshore transformer platform.

The topside of the offshore transformer platform Borssele Beta of TenneT is constructed and ready for shipping (picture: HSM Offshore)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)

See article on single page

Borssele Alpha ready to operate

05.09.2019

Just one month ago, TSCNET shareholder TenneT fully implemented BorWin3 in the German Bight, the twelfth offshore grid connection project of the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). Now there is once again good news for the energy transition, this time from the Dutch North Sea: Borssele Alpha, TenneT’s first and largest connection system for wind farms in Dutch territorial waters, is ready for operation – right on schedule and within budget. From 2020 on, Borssele Alpha will supply the green electricity from the offshore wind farms Borssele I and II ashore.

The two Borssele wind farms will have a capacity of around 700MW. The Borssele Alpha grid connection will transmit the electricity to the substation near the town of Borssele in the Dutch province of Zeeland, where TenneT has built a new transformer station next to the existing station. The Borssele grid connection is TenneT’s first Dutch major project under the National Energy Agreement for offshore wind farms and fully complies with the conditions set out in the Dutch government’s Offshore Wind Energy Development Framework.

According to the Energy Agreement, TenneT will have installed 3,500MW of grid connections for offshore wind farms by the end of 2023. The next project is Borssele Beta, followed by Hollandse Kust (zuid) Alpha and Beta and Hollandse Kust (noord). TenneT’s standardised procedure for offshore connections will make it possible to complete these projects more efficiently, quickly and economically. In line with the Dutch Follow-up Roadmap for Offshore Wind Energy, a further 6,100MW of offshore wind energy will be realised between 2024 and 2030.

The Borssele Alpha offshore grid connection of TenneT is operational (picture: Screenshot taken from the Borssele video)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)
> Watch TenneT video “Opening Borssele Trailer Master” (YouTube)

See article on single page

TenneT on track for the energy transition

31.07.2019

Highly satisfactory business results and maintenance of the high level of 99.99% security of supply, are hallmarks of the half year report of the Dutch-German TSCNET shareholder Tennet. The latter is a growing challenge for the transmission system operator (TSO) because of the increased feed-in of volatile renewable energy. But above all, the report illustrates the commitment of the TSO to the European energy transition.

To take further steps in shaping the energy system of the future, TenneT has launched a series of strategic initiatives and partnerships to join forces across sectors. TenneT is participating in a German power-to-gas pilot project and is working together with regional grid operators and market partners on smart solutions to optimise the use of existing electricity infrastructure. The TSO is also involved in blockchain pilots to create flexibility for balancing the power system from decentralised sources.

TenneT has further strengthened its position as a leading offshore TSO. In Germany, TenneT has awarded DolWin 5, the 14th offshore grid connection. TenneT will increase its current offshore transmission capacity from 6,232MW in the German North Sea to almost 9GW by 2024. In the Netherlands, too, the development of the offshore grid with the Borssele Alpha and Beta projects is on schedule. TenneT intends to provide a total of 10.6GW of connection capacity for Dutch offshore wind farms by 2030. The TSO is also carrying out several onshore projects to ensure the transport of the growing amount of green electricity and thus security of supply in its control areas. Important interconnecting projects are the NordLink cable connection, which is currently being built to directly link the German and Norwegian markets for the first time. The COBRAcable between the Netherlands and Denmark has “landed” at the Dutch shore and will go into operation this year.

These developments are complemented by solid and impressive figures: Underlying operating result (EBIT) rose from €362m (first half of 2018) to €407m in the first half of 2019. €1,094m (first half of 2018: €904m) were invested in the Dutch and German high-voltage grids (of which €612m in Germany) and a total of €1.75bn green bonds were successfully issued. Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT, comments on the report: “We have embarked on an irreversible transition to a sustainable society and a new energy system. This requires investments, not only in new electricity connections, but also in innovations and digitalisation. We have to move to holistic energy system thinking and also work on solutions to make better use of the existing high-voltage grids. We are convinced that this is the way forward to limit social costs and at the same time maintain a very high security of supply.”

TenneT presents its half year report 2019 (picture: TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)
> Open Half year report 2019 (pdf, 803kb)

See article on single page

First Borssele cable ashore

17.04.2019

Last weekend, the first submarine cable from the Borssele Alpha transformer platform landed on the Dutch coast, marking a significant progress in connecting the Borssele offshore wind farm area in the southwest part of the Dutch North Sea to the onshore high-voltage grid of TSCNET shareholder TenneT. The Borssele grid connection is the first large-scale project of the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) carried out under the Dutch National Energy Agreement for offshore wind farms.

The last section of the cable laying was quite critical due to the crossing of a ferry route, but during the closure of the shipping traffic everything went according to plan. After the landing of the submarine cable, its installation was continued ashore up to the newly constructed onshore transformer substation. In the coming weeks preparations will be made to connect the second submarine cable for the Borssele Alpha project to the transformer station.

The first submarine cable of the Borssele grid connection of TenneT has reached the coast (picture: TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)

See article on single page

First Borssele jacket ready for shipping

31.07.2018

A height of 55m, a length of 50m, a width of 28m, and a total weight of about 2730t ‒ these are the stately specifications of the jacket for the first transformer platform in the Borssele offshore wind farm zone. The connection of this area in the Dutch part of the North Sea to the onshore grid is the first large-scale connection project of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, which is being implemented under the Dutch National Energy Agreement for offshore wind farms. With the completion of the first platform substructure in a shipyard in Schiedam in greater Rotterdam, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) has reached the first milestone in the realisation of the Borssele connection project.

During the so-called load out, a time-consuming precision procedure, the jacket was lifted onto a seagoing barge. On Sunday 5 August, the heavily laden barge will start its journey through the Nieuwe Waterweg canal to the Borssele I wind farm area. Here, a special crane vessel will install the jacket on the seabed, which is planned for the period from 6 to 16 August. Wilfried Breuer, member of the TSO’s Executive Board and Managing Director TenneT Offshore, comments on the progress of the Borssele project: “I am proud that we can make such a major contribution to the energy transition, in which offshore wind energy plays a crucial role.”

The jacket for the first platform of the Borssele grid connection, a project of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, is ready for transport (picture: Robert Nagelkerke / TenneT)

Linkup
> See TenneT press release (html)

See article on single page

Investing in green energy

23.05.2018

The expansion of the transmission infrastructure for the integration of renewable energies is a cardinal obligation for transmission system operators (TSO) in the 21st century. As far as TSCNET shareholder TenneT is concerned, the ongoing efforts of the Dutch-German TSO to promote sustainable energy sources are not limited to the physical implementation of infrastructure projects. TenneT is also active on the financial market as the largest corporate issuer of Green Debt in the Netherlands.

Now, the TSO has again successfully issued €1.25bn of long term Green Bonds on the Dutch market in two tranches of €500m and €750m respectively. This adds up to €6.25bn of green issuances since TenneT established its green financing framework in 2015. Over the next 10 years, TenneT’s investments in Dutch and German offshore and onshore grid connections are expected to total €28bn. With the inclusion of the Dutch offshore projects Borssele Alpha and Borssele Beta, eleven projects are currently part of the Green Project Portfolio and financed through TenneT’s Green Bonds.

> See TenneT press release (html)

See article on single page

Contract and “First steel cut” for Borssele

05.09.2017

The grid connection of the Borssele offshore wind area in the Dutch part of the North Sea is the first large-scale connection project realised under the Dutch National Energy Agreement for offshore wind farms. In February, TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), had already awarded the contract for the construction of the Borssele Alpha offshore transformer station to HSM Offshore. Now, TenneT contracted HSM Offshore also for the construction of the Borssele Beta platform.

The two platforms together provide 700MW of connection capacity and thus form the key component of the Borssele grid connection. The signing of the Beta contract was accompanied by the “First steel cut” ceremony for the Alpha platform at the HSM shipyard in Schiedam in the Dutch province of South Holland. Both contracts cover the engineering, construction, transport, installation, connection and testing of the respective offshore transformer stations. The Alpha platform is expected to be put into operation in 2019, and Beta in 2020.

> See TenneT press release (html)

Picture: TenneT

.

See article on single page

Grid connection agreement for Borssele

10.07.2017

The connection of the Borssele offshore wind area in the southwest Dutch part of the North Sea to the onshore high-voltage grid is a large-scale project carried out within the frame of the Dutch National Energy Agreement for offshore wind farms. The Borssele connection comprises two 700MW platforms and two submarine cables and is realised by TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), as the officially appointed Dutch offshore grid operator.

TenneT and wind farm specialist DONG Energy, winner of the public tender for the first two areas of the Borssele wind farm, now have signed an agreement. The contract covers aspects of technical execution, connection, and the power transmission with Borssele Alpha, the first of the two offshore platforms. TenneT’s responsibilities in this regard are not limited to physical issues. Beyond that, the TSO is striving to integrate the renewables into the energy system at minimum societal cost.

Mel Kroon, the company’s CEO, comments on this specific matter: “Because TenneT, and not individual parties with commercial interests, is responsible for all offshore network connections, we have been able to carry out standardisation leading to the desired cost savings for Dutch society.” Marco Kuijpers, Senior Manager Offshore Netherlands at TenneT, adds: “By signing this agreements we, for the first time, formalise the full connection of an offshore wind farm to the Dutch grid.”

> See TenneT press release (html)

Map: TenneT

.

See article on single page