BorWin3 in operation


The offshore grid connection BorWin3 operated by TSCNET shareholder TenneT in the German Bight is ready for feed-in since early August. This means that the total transmission capacity for offshore wind farms in the German North Sea is already 7.132GW. The Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) has thus not only met the German government’s expansion targets for sustainable North Sea wind power – 6.5GW by 2020 – but has significantly exceeded them.

BorWin3, TenneT’s twelfth offshore grid connection project, brings a further 900MW capacity. After BorWin1 and BorWin2, it is the third connection that the TSO has implemented near the East Frisian island of Borkum using DC technology. The corresponding converter and transformer station were built at TenneT’s Emden/Ost site to feed the green energy into the onshore extra-high voltage grid. BorWin3 bridges a total distance of 160km. The submarine cable is 130km long and the last section ashore to Emden/Ost is completed by underground cabling.

The TSO can be satisfied with its own offshore progress, but TenneT Managing Director Tim Meyerjürgens calls for further efforts, as the current rate of offshore wind expansion in Europe is not sufficient to achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. “An accelerated, large-scale and internationally coordinated expansion is necessary,” explains Meyerjürgens. In this context, TenneT has just presented a feasibility study of the North Sea Wind Power Hub concept for the implementation of wind power distribution hubs in the North Sea. Meyerjürgens points out that with an internationally coordinated approach the connection and integration of large offshore wind energy capacities could be much more effective and cost-efficient than with continued individual national planning.

In early August, the offshore grid connection BorWin3 of TenneT was put into operation (picture of the offshore converter platform BorWin gamma: TenneT)

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

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TenneT presents Annual Report


The transition to significantly more solar and wind energy in the power grid continues to have a substantial impact on the business operations of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). The apparent progress made by TenneT in this respect is reflected in the TSO’s just published Integrated Annual Report 2018, which is accompanied by the Green Finance Report 2018. To further advance the energy transition, TenneT focuses on the innovation and optimisation of the existing transmission system as well as on major national and international grid expansions. Manon van Beek, CEO at TenneT, refers to the necessity “to expand and reinforce our grids both onshore and offshore” and further explains: “We must also use the capacity of this infrastructure better, more flexibly and efficiently with the help of technology.”

TenneT again achieved a very good financial result in 2018. On an underlying revenue basis of €4.2bn, the TSO invested €2.3bn (2017: €1.8bn) in the energy transition and security of supply, with remarkable success, as grid availability in 2018 was 99.9988% within TenneT’s control area. And apart from the ensured reliability of the current transmission system, TenneT also wants to guarantee security of supply in the future. Since the energy future cannot be realised without inventive concepts, TenneT was and will be very active in innovation research for a flexible and affordable energy system based on solar and wind energy as well as green hydrogen. Several research projects are currently underway with renowned partners from industry and science.

Especially in terms of wind energy, TenneT is setting standards by reaching a new milestone in Germany and bringing almost 17TWh of offshore wind energy ashore in 2018. TenneT’s total connection capacity for offshore wind farms grew to 6,232MW. The BorWin3 and DolWin6 projects, which will be completed in 2019 and 2023 respectively, will further increase capacity to more than 8,000MW in Germany, while the development of an offshore grid in the Dutch North Sea is also progressing as planned.

Another important operational objective of TenneT is the further integration of the Northwest European electricity market, which is essential for the success of the European energy targets. One of TenneT’s current projects is the Doetinchem-Wesel link between the Netherlands and Germany, which went into operation in September 2018. In addition, the COBRAcable subsea connection between the Netherlands and Denmark has “landed” at the Eemshaven connection point and will be commissioned this year. Also worth noting is the NordLink cable connection currently under construction, which will be the first direct link between the German and Norwegian markets. The 624km interconnector is expected to come on stream in 2021. TenneT will then be operating 16 interconnectors in total.

TenneT presents its Integrated Annual Report 2018 and Green Finance Report 2018 (picture: screenshot taken from video “50 Hertz – The challenge of continuous electricity”, TenneT – Youtube)

> See TenneT press release, (html)
> Visit Integrated Annual Report 2018 website (html)
> Open Green Finance Report 2018 (pdf, 2.84MB)

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Increase in North Sea capacities


In terms of the “wind harvest” in the German control area of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, 2018 has been yet another record-breaking year. The result in 2018 exceeded the previous year’s figure by 4.9 percent. The wind energy transmitted from the North Sea by the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO) amounted to 16.75TWh in 2018 – a new record. This was made possible by a total transmission capacity of 6,232MW provided by altogether eleven offshore connection systems, which have by now been connected to the onshore grid by TenneT.

That is more than in line with the German political targets. “With this, TenneT has now almost entirely achieved the federal government’s expansion goal of having 6,500MW of offshore wind capacity by 2020,” comments TenneT Managing Director Wilfried Breuer. And what’s more: “Already this year, TenneT will exceed this goal since the completion of BorWin3 in the course of 2019 will put a total of 7,132MW of transmission capacity into operation in the North Sea alone.”

In addition to the company’s infrastructural efforts, TenneT pursues numerous innovative technological approaches. A current example in the offshore sector is the planned 66kV technology, which will be used for the future TenneT offshore connections DolWin5 and BorWin5. 66kV technology can reduce investment and operational costs by millions as it supersedes offshore transformer platforms and significantly reduces the amount of cables required to connect individual turbine systems.

TenneT has increased its offshore transmission capacity from the German North Sea (picture: TenneT)

> See TenneT press release (html)

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BorWin gamma embarks on its journey to the North Sea


From Dubai around the Arabian Peninsula, through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea, past Gibraltar into the Atlantic Ocean and from there further north into the western German Bight of the North Sea – it is truly a long journey that the 18,000-ton topside of the offshore converter platform BorWin gamma has embarked on. BorWin gamma is a core component of the offshore grid connection BorWin3, a 900MW connection for two offshore wind farms to be implemented by TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO).

Almost exactly three years ago, the construction of the platform began in Dubai, where 10,500t of steel were used – more than for the Eiffel Tower – and 880km of cable were laid inside. Now, 13.5m working hours later, BorWin Gamma is ready for transport and will then be installed on the substructure, the so-called jacket, which was already erected in May. The platform will convert the electricity from the wind turbines into DC in order to bring it to land with as little loss as possible. BorWin gamma is connected via 160km of cable (of which 130km are undersea and 30km underground) to the Emden/Ost onshore converter station in the German state of Lower Saxony. There, the electricity is converted back into AC and fed into the extra-high voltage grid. BorWin3 will go into operation next year and then be able to supply more than 1 million households.

The offshore converter platform BorWin gamma for the BorWin3 connection by the Dutch-German TSO TenneT is ready for transport from Dubai to the North Sea (picture: TenneT)

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)
> Visit TenneT BorWin3 Projektblog, in German (html)

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Open sea cable for BorWin3


The offshore grid connection BorWin3 in the western part of the German Bight is one of the thirteen offshore connection projects to be accomplished by TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). BorWin3 links TenneT’s offshore converter station BorWin gamma to the onshore converter station Emden/Ost by means of submarine and underground cables. With its projected transmission capacity of 900MW, the DC connection is of significant importance for the success of the energy transition.

The cables of BorWin3 have a total length of about 160km. 30km of land cable, 4km through the wadden sea, and 40km of submarine cable in the coastal area were already laid in 2015. This week, the laying of the submarine cable through the open sea has begun by equipping the cable ship “Cable Enterprise” with 64 km of cables. After the connection of the new cable to the already laid one, the actual laying is carried out with a plow weighing about 45t. Two 320kV DC cables are buried into the seabed together with a fibre optic cable for data transmission. The Finnish cable ship “Atalanti”, carrying 23km of cable, will continue the laying around mid-September up to the BorWin gamma platform.

The laying should be completed by mid or late October, and the completion of the whole grid connection system is expected for 2019. At the present time, nine of TenneT’s grid connection projects have already been put into operation. Together they amount to 5,200MW connection capacity. This means, that more than 80% of the German federal government’s renewable expansion targets (6,500 MW by 2020) have been accomplished by TenneT as early as now.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT


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Heavyweight transformers for Amprion and TenneT


Two of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), TSC members Amprion and TenneT, are confronted with heavy traffic – in the literal sense of the word: Two newly built transformers are being delivered via heavy-duty transport to electrical substations operated by the two TSOs.

At 2.15 in the morning of 2 February 2017, a transformer weighing 400t arrived at Amprion’s substation in Sechtem near the former German capital Bonn. The day before, the 600MVA transformer produced by Alstom had reached the nearby railway station Roisdorf on a special railway car. The few final transportation kilometres on the road were the most challenging, since the road train with its heavy-duty trailers had a total length of more than 65m. In addition, a bridge had to be passed, the load carrying capacity of which was by no means secured. Thankfully, the transport went smoothly and took only a little more than four hours, just as planned. Gerd J. Pröpper, transport manager at Amprion, especially appreciated the good cooperation with the police and the authorities.

What Amprion already has successfully achieved, is yet to be carried out by TenneT: In the night between 4 and 5 February, TenneT’s new transformer will be transported from the seaport in Emden to the substation Emden/Ost in the northwest of Germany. The device built by the Dutch company Smit has a total weight of 235t. It had run into Emden port by ship on 31 January and is subsequently being prepared for its road trip with a length of about 6 km. The substation Emden/Ost – in combination with the correlative converter station – is part of the BorWin3 project, one of TenneT’s twelve offshore grid connection projects which are of significant importance for the success of the energy transition. The delivery of the transformers for the Emden/Ost converter station is scheduled for spring 2017.

> See Amprion webpage “Transformers”, in German (html)
> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture on the right: Alstom Deutschland AG
Pictures below: Amprion




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Roofing ceremony for BorWin3 converter station


BorWin3 is one of the twelve offshore grid connection projects that have been commisioned by TSC member TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). The submarine cable line is destined for connecting offshore wind farms in the German North Sea to the onshore electricity grid. More precisely, BorWin3 will connect TenneT’s offshore converter platform BorWin gamma to the onshore converter station in Emden/Ost, this with a transmission capacity of 900MW and a length of 160km. Now the competent project managers from TenneT and its construction partner Siemens were glad to celebrate the topping out of the Emden/Ost converter station.

To minimise power loss during the long distance transportation, BorWin3 is designed as a high-voltage DC transmission line. BorWin gamma converts the wind generated three phase AC current into DC, the converter station Emden/Ost does the reconversion. Preparatory works in Emden/Ost started in 2013. The completion of the whole grid connection system – including the submarine cable, onshore underground cabling, converter station, converter platform and a substation in Emden/Ost – is expected for 2019, according to TenneT’s current planning.

At the present time, eight of TenneT’s grid connection projects have already been put into operation. Together they count for 4,300MW connection capacity. This means that two thirds of the German federal government’s renewable expansion targets (6,500 MW by 2020) is being met by TenneT as early as now.

> See TenneT press release, in German (html)

Picture: TenneT


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