DNV GL and its 34 partners from 11 countries are working on a project to boost the development of meshed high-voltage direct current (HVDC) offshore grids in Europe.


The project, Progress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks (Promotion), aims to develop and demonstrate diode rectifier offshore converters, multi-vendor high-voltage direct current (HVDC) grid protection system, and the full power testing of HVDC circuit breakers.

European commission Directorate-General for Energy (DG ENER) Renewables, Research and Innovation, Energy Efficiency director Marie Donelly said: "There is great potential in the Northern Seas to deliver significant quantities of clean energy, helping us both to decarbonise our economy and to increase the security of our energy supply.

"We think that an offshore grid in the North Sea could become a flagship project for regional cooperation as foreseen by the Energy Union."

Funded under the EU Horizon2020 research and innovation program until December 2019, the four-year project started in January will assess the significant financial, technical and environmental benefits of a meshed offshore transmission grid connecting offshore wind farms to land.

DNV GL Energy CEO Elisabeth Harstad said: "Combining new HVDC technologies within present systems is instrumental in bringing large scale renewables into the grid and to ensure a future-proof grid which is affordable, reliable and sustainable."

The project scope also includes development of a regulatory and financial framework for coordinated planning, construction and operation of integrated offshore structures including an offshore grid deployment roadmap for the future offshore grid system in Europe.

DNV GL said that the deployment of meshed HVDC offshore grids is hampered by the cost of converter technology, a lack of experience with protection and fault clearance components.

The project partners include Dutch transmission operator TenneT; ABB, Statoil; Siemens, Dong Energy, Iberdrola, Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission, Statoil, among others.

Image: DNV GL is working on Progress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks project to develop diode rectifier offshore converters. Photo: courtesy of DNV GL AS.