50Hertz plans to invest some €3.4bn

26.02.2019

Northeast Germany – and thus the control area of TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) – continues to be a pioneer in the integration of renewable energies in Central Europe. For the second year in a row, renewables accounted for more than half of electricity consumption, and once more a new record was set with a regenerative share of 56.5% (2017: 53.4%). The installed capacity of renewables rose to 32.9GW, which is why Boris Schucht, CEO of 50Hertz, had every reason to express his contentment with this development during the 50Hertz balance sheet press conference on 26 February 2019 in the German capital of Berlin: “We are proud that with this record share of renewables, we can contribute to a successful energy transition.” Since this share will increase continuously in the 50Hertz control area, the federal growth target of 65% for 2030 can be achieved as early as 2021.

At the same time, the costs for congestion management, mainly caused by redispatch, fell significantly last year, by an impressive €100m to around €105m. This is due in particular to the effect of the extra-high voltage line “Südwest-Kuppelleitung” (aka “Thuringian Power Bridge”) and two now fully operational phase-shifting transformers (PSTs) on the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic respectively. But also in the future, the expansion of the transmission infrastructure must keep pace with that of the renewables. 50Hertz is taking this into account with exceptionally high investments in the transformation of the energy system. These are facilitated by the TSO’s excellent operating results. Over the past five years, 50Hertz has already invested over €3bn in the grid (€492m in 2018). By 2023, 50Hertz plans to spend a further €3.4bn (€420m in 2019).

Among the outstanding infrastructure projects are the “Ostwind 1” offshore connection, which has been in trial operation since last year, and the “Combined Grid Solution”, a Danish-German interconnector in the Baltic Sea that links the German “Baltic 2” wind farm with the Danish “Kriegers Flak” farm and will be connected to the grid in 2019. The supra-regional DC project “SuedOstLink” is making significant progress, too, as the federal sector planning is underway and the European tender for the underground cables has been launched. 50Hertz CTO Dr. Frank Golletz, who will take over the function of Boris Schucht as interim CEO from 1 March 2019, announced the continuation of the TSO’s ambitious investment program. Golletz also pointed out that the political and regulatory framework must be optimised and made innovation-friendly to realise the energy transition.

50Hertz presents excellent results for 2018 and announces further sustainable investments in its transmission grid (illustration using pictures of 50Hertz)

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> See 50Hertz press release (html)
> Open press conference presentation, in German (pdf, 4.09MB)

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First partial feed-in from Arkona wind farm

10.10.2018

The Arkona offshore project in the south-eastern part of the “Westlich Adlergrund” wind farm cluster in the Baltic Sea near the German Island of Rügen is in the final stage of construction. In April 2018, the platform topside for the Arkona windfarm was mounted on the platform jackets. In the following months, the topside was further equipped, tested and prepared for operation. Also the corresponding grid connection, Ostwind 1, has made great progress and has now been partially implemented by TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs).

After its completion, Ostwind 1 will transmit the converted electricity from the wind turbines via a 220kV submarine cable to the Lubmin onshore transformer station in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. With the realisation of the first partial feed from Arkona during the construction phase of Ostwind 1, the development of the entire connection project is fully on schedule. Currently, 50Hertz is carrying out the remaining work along the cable route to the Arkona platform by laying another submarine cable.

With the first partial feed-in of electricity from the Arkona wind farm, 50Hertz is further advancing the Ostwind 1 offshore connection (picture: Equinor)

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Record weight: Arkona converter platform installed

11.04.2018

After being shipped on a floating pontoon from its French construction dockyard to the wind farm cluster “Westlich Adlergrund” in the Baltic Sea near the German Island of Rügen, the platform topside for the Arkona windfarm, which lies in the south-east part of the cluster, has been mounted on the platform jackets on 8 April. The 4,000-tonne construction is the heaviest platform ever to be raised to an offshore foundation in one piece. Precise positioning work, strong nerves and the help of the “Oleg Strashnov”, currently the largest crane ship available in the Baltic Sea, were all needed to successfully complete the process.

The Arkona converter platform will be used collectively by the wind farm operator and by TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). It collects and converts the wind current from the Arkona wind farm, whose turbines will have a collective capacity of 385MW ‒ sufficient to supply about 400.000 households with green energy. 50Hertz is implementing Ostwind 1, the grid connection for the wind farm cluster, transmitting the electricity with a 220kV submarine cable to the onshore substation Lubmin in the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Dr. Henrich Quick, Head of Offshore projects at 50Hertz, explains that the joint platform ensures a high level of supply security and cost reductions for all involved: wind farm operators, TSOs and German consumers. Over the next few months, the topside will be further equipped, tested and prepared for later operation. In compliance with the German Offshore Grid Development Plan, Ostwind 1 will feed green energy into the German transmission system from the end of 2019.

> See 50Hertz news release, in German (html)

Picture: 50Hertz / Christian Brehm

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Arkona converter platform at sea

22.03.2018

“Ostwind 1” is the grid connection for the wind farm cluster “Westlich Adlergrund” in the Baltic Sea near the Island of Rügen in the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The project is being realised by TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). In the south-east part of the cluster lies the Arkona wind farm, whose wind turbines will have a collective capacity of 385MW ‒ sufficient for supplying about 400,000 households with energy. The Arkona offshore converter platform collects and converts the wind current for the transmission via 220kV submarine cable to 50Hertz’ onshore substation Lubmin.

Over the past 20 months, the Arkona platform topside has been built at STX France SA shipyard in the Atlantic town of Saint-Nazaire, in the Loire estuary. The final step was the installation of 50Hertz electrotechnical components, such as gas-insulated switchgears and specially designed chokes. Due to good weather and sea conditions, the topside could be shipped out of Saint-Nazaire on 21 March to start its sea voyage of 2,550 kilometres. The 4,000-tonne construction is being transported on a floating pontoon towed by a deep-sea tug. It will reach its final destination in the Baltic Sea, 35 kilometers from Rügen, in early April. Here, the topside will be mounted on the platform jackets with the help of the “Oleg Strashnov”, currently the largest crane ship available in the Baltic Sea.

> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html)

Picture: 50Hertz/vis-a-vis

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Arkona shell construction completed

13.07.2017

Nordwind 1, the grid connection for the wind farm cluster “Westlich Adlergrund” in the Baltic Sea near the German Island of Rügen, is the largest investment project to date by TSC member 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). In case of the Arkona wind farm in the south-east part of the cluster, 50Hertz is not only responsible for the feeding in of the wind energy into the onshore transmission grid, but also for the construction and installation of the appendant offshore converter platform.

Arkona’s wind turbines combined will have a capacity of 385MW, which is sufficient to supply about 400.000 households with green energy. The platform is the centrepiece of Arkona, collecting and converting the wind current for the transmission via submarine cables to 50Hertz’ onshore converter station Lubmin near Greifswald in the German federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. Now, the shell construction of the platform has been finished and the ceremonial keel laying for the high-tech device took place in the French Atlantic town of Saint-Nazaire. At the shipyard of STX France SA in the Loire estuary, three of two platform modules have been transposed in the course of the ceremony onto a barge in the dry dock. The third is soon to follow.

The next step is the installation of the electrotechnical components from 50Hertz in the dry dock. When everything runs as planned, the barge with the platform is set to leave Saint-Nazaire in the spring of 2018 for a two week’s sea voyage to the Baltic sea. At its final destination in a distance of 35 kilometres from Rügen island, the platform will be assembled on the specially designed platform substructure, the so-called jackets.

> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html)

Picture: 50Hertz / Christian Brehm

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