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)

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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)

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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)

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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)

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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.

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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.

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Picture: TenneT

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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.”

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TenneT commissions new UXO survey

20.06.2017

TSC member TenneT is the officially appointed Dutch offshore grid operator. To fulfill its responsibilities on this matter, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) eagerly strives towards the full realisation of the offshore grid system as foreseen in the Dutch National Energy Agreement. A significant project from the agreement is the connection of the two platforms in the Borssele offshore wind area to the Borssele high-voltage substation on the peninsula of Walcheren in the south-west of the Netherlands.

Unexploded ordnance (UXO) on the sea bed has to be considered as a severe risk to the work process of routing and laying submarine cables. That is why TenneT now has concluded a contract on the survey and identification of UXO on the planned route of the Borssele grid connection. Contract partners are the geotechnical survey company Fugro and the maritime service provider Boskalis. During a period of approximately two years, more than 200 employees will be involved in the UXO campaign, assuring that all the following work steps for the cable installation are secure.

The two Borssele 700MW platforms are expected to be completed in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The related grid connection with a total length of more than 60 kilometres will consist of four 220kV cables, each having a transport capacity of 350MW. Marco Kuijpers, Senior Manager Offshore Netherlands at TenneT, emphasises the TSO’s continous efforts in implementing the Dutch offshore grid system. In this regard, the Borssele grid connection “is a significant contribution to the realisation of the Dutch renewable energy ambitions”.

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Picture: TenneT

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“Mega ‘power outlets'” for Borssele

12.02.2017

Major and ambitious goals are being pursued by TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO), with the grid connection of the Borssele offshore wind area in the Dutch part of the North Sea. The Borssele grid connection comprises two platforms (Borssele Alpha and Borssele Beta) – both providing 700MW of electricity generated by two wind turbine sites – and two submarine cables transporting the electricity to the Borssele onshore substation. It is the first large-scale grid connection to be realised under the Dutch National Energy Agreement for offshore wind farms.

Now TenneT has awarded the first contract for the construction of the Borssele Alpha transformer station to HSM Offshore. The Dutch specialised company is also the intended partner for Borssele Beta. The contract covers the engineering, construction, transport, installation, connection and testing of the offshore transformer station.

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Picture: TenneT

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