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Conference programme 

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Poster session

Lead Session Chair:
Stephan Barth, Managing Director, ForWind - Center for Wind Energy Research, Germany
Martin Ars Nuon / Vattenfall, The Netherlands
Martin Ars (1) F P Daniel Vree (3) Edwin Wiggelinkhuizen (2) Frans Nieuwenhout (2) Joris Gazendam (5) Martha Roggenkamp (5) Minos Kontos (4) Pavol Bauer (4) Luc Dort, van (3) Joris Truiens (3)
(1) Nuon / Vattenfall, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (2) ECN, Petten, The Netherlands (3) Royal HaskoningDHV, Amersfoort, The Netherlands (4) Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands (5) University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

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Presenter's biography

Biographies are supplied directly by presenters at OFFSHORE 2015 and are published here unedited

Martin holds a B.Eng. in electrical engineering (cum laude) and a Msc. in Science and Innovation Management, during these studies he specialised in renewable energy technology.

Martin has experience in change management and marketing management, and since 2010 he has been working for Nuon in the wind energy business as a project development manager of both on- and offshore wind farms. His experience covers project management, site selection, project financials, contract negotiation, grid connection, HV cable route development, and assessing the technical and economical feasibility of projects and concepts.


Interconnecting offshore wind farms: How to benefit from the synergies?


The electrical infrastructure for connecting offshore wind farms (OWFs) to the onshore grid represents a significant share of energy cost. When OFWs on both sides of the North Sea are connected to each other, an interconnecting link is created.
By combining the use of the offshore electrical infrastructure for wind power export and for cross-border trade, several synergy advantages can be achieved. Electricity from OWFs can be sold to the country with the highest electricity price. Also, electricity generated onshore can be traded to the neighboring country via the same infrastructure and there is a redundant connection to shore.


Considering a specific case of two planned offshore wind farms in the North Sea at either side of the UK-Dutch border, a multi-disciplinary feasibility study has been carried out on combining wind farm connections and an IL which addresses
1) the main technical design possibilities;
2) the expected socio-economic benefits from both;
a. a private investor's perspective and;
b. a Transmission System Operator’s perspective;
3) the regulatory and legal implications.

As methodology and general findings have been presented earlier, the paper will focus on specific results that are directly related to three subtopics:

Main body of abstract

1) Although most HVdc connections nowadays are point-to-point, the present feasibility study shows that a multi-terminal dc (MTdc) network is a promising option for the realization of the required four-terminal grid and can lead to a cost reduction of such a grid. Converter technologies applicable for MTdc networks are presented with their main limitations as well as the potential of several innovations.

2) Benefits of integrating interconnections between countries into OWF grid connections: From a national perspective, all major impacts of additional transmission infrastructure need to be assessed before the TSOs involved will give their green light. Prime focus in this evaluation is on the costs and benefits for all stakeholders affected per country. Aggregated impact on society has been assessed for the technological alternatives considered here with the use of the COMPETES market model. Results are presented in the form of a ranking of integration options from a national perspective.

3) To enable the proposed cross-border infrastructure, two topics from a legal perspective are presented. Firstly, the definition of the interconnecting link is addressed. Research has shown that an interconnecting link cannot be classified as an interconnector. Suggestions will be made on how this new type of infrastructure can be classified. Secondly, we will discuss the application of the cooperation mechanism from Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. It is assumed that a joint approach between NL and UK can have a positive effect on the development of new OWFs.


Finally an outlook is presented showing how this present concept could be used as a first building block for a future transnational offshore grid.

The presented results from the study will give insight on the way forward to a cross-border initiative by combining grid connections of OWFs and an interconnecting link.

The Synergies at Sea feasibility study is conducted by NUON/Vattenfall, Royal HaskoningDHV, ECN, Delft University of Technology, Groningen Centre of Energy Law (University of Groningen) and DC Offshore Energy. The project is supported by the program "TKI-Wind op Zee" from the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs.

Learning objectives
Learning objectives:
- feasibility of an interconnecting link
- reduction of the cost of energy of OWFs

Following subtopics are covered:
- “Multi-terminal HVDC grid – where are we?”
- “Squeezing more out of your grid connection”
- “Cross-border cooperation – is there anything yet?”