Most of the world's marine offshore power plants are usually located near the coast of the countries that they feed. However, an ambitious plan by a Dutch energy company suggests the creation of the world's largest wind farm, as well as a specially equipped artificial island, which will act as an energy hub for electricity distribution between five countries.
The Dutch company TenneT proposes to create an energy hub in the center of the North Sea, which will provide electricity not only to the Netherlands, but also to Great Britain, Denmark, Germany and Belgium. All these countries are approximately at the same distance from the proposed construction site.
The plan involves the construction of an artificial island area of 6 square kilometers around which a number of wind turbines are going to be built. Turbines will transmit generated electricity to a central hub from which it will flow to each of the participating countries.
A wind power plant located in the North Sea will be able to feed five countries at once: the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany and Belgium
The British edition of the Guardian with reference to TenneT reports that from the economic point of view this project is much more profitable, in comparison with conventional wind power plants and projects on electricity transmission between countries. In general, it will save several billion dollars annually.
Coastal wind farms generate alternating current, so when it is transmitted over long distances, there may be some loss. The power hub, in turn, will convert the current into a constant one, and then direct it to the countries via cheaper cables. After it is converted back to the variable, which, in turn, will already be delivered to homes and businesses. The company TenneT is going to present a more detailed proposal this year and says that if the project is approved, then it will be realized somewhere by 2027.
Experts note that the project may face a number of difficulties, including an insufficient level of cooperation and financing from European energy companies. But if everything works out, the wind power plant will be able to produce up to 30 GW of electricity – almost twice as much as the entire volume of energy produced by the coastal wind farms that are now available in Europe.
Given the criticism of people living in coastal regions it is not surprising that these companies are starting to look to more remote areas from the shore.
Rob van der Haj, manager of the Co TenneT on the development of offshore wind energy, in an interview with the Guardian commented that "projects for the construction of power plants on land and coastal regions have recently become very often faced with criticism from local residents," adding that it would therefore be logical to consider the idea of placing wind farms away from the big earth.