The UK Government has set an ambitious target to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. This would require large-scale integration of up to 75GW offshore wind capacity into the GB electricity system, up from 8GW in 2018, according to the Committee on Climate Change. The coordinated development of future offshore electricity transmission infrastructure is essential to achieve the levels of deployment required.
With government’s commitment to a strategic target (of 40GW of offshore wind by 2030), the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) wanted to investigate how the future offshore electricity transmission system should develop to realise the full potential of GB’s offshore wind resource.
In response to this, the OWIC formed a Future Offshore Transmission group comprising a Technical Solutions work stream led by The National HVDC Centre in collaboration with three offshore windfarm developers (EDPR, Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall) and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. The technical solution work stream led a review into Grid-access Technologies for the GB Offshore Wind Industry.
This report, by the Technical Solutions work stream identifies the following issues to be analysed:
- Integrated electricity transmission planning – coordinated planning can facilitate economic and efficient development of future offshore and onshore transmission networks, based on High Voltage -Alternating Current (HVAC) or Direct Current (HVDC) technologies;
- Key enabling infrastructures – shared transmission assets such as coastal HVAC grid hubs; offshore HVDC hubs; and demonstration and innovation hubs, would be required to realise the full potential of GB’s offshore wind resource; and
- Design authority and system operator – there is a need to plan appropriate enabling infrastructures and funding of the future offshore transmission systems.