A new approach to the problem of connecting offshore wind turbines to the grid has been devised by Siemens. Presented at the National Maritime Conference in Bremerhaven, the new technology, still based on DC cabling, is said to enable a more cost-efficient and simplified connection of offshore wind power plants far out to sea.
The platform housing the transmission technology is smaller and more compact than before. Until now, offshore power plants
have been connected to the grid via large central converter platforms out at sea. Siemens has further developed the transmission technology to enable a larger number of much smaller platforms to be built. It is the compactness and lower weight of these platforms that is at the heart of the cost savings and simplfication claimed by Siemens.
With this new solution, a direct-current cable can connect several of these platforms sequentially in a wind farm and then route them
to an onshore transformer substation. Overall this solution costs less and is also more efficient than the approach used with conventional platforms.It is expected by Siemens to drive the price of offshore wind power below ten eurocents per kWh by 2020, with a total cost decrease of 30%, a transmission capacity increase of 33%, and transmission losses decreased by 20%.