Home Offshore Energy TenneT accelerates grid expansion and energy transition

TenneT accelerates grid expansion and energy transition

  • TenneT has concluded another framework cooperation agreement for at least ten 525 kV HVDC cable systems with delivery until 2031. Partners are NKT, Nexans and a consortium of Jan De Nul Group, LS Cable & System and Denys
  • Aim is to supply a portfolio of six German and three Dutch 2 GW offshore grid connection systems until 2031. Also included is one German onshore project (NordOstLink) to be operational in 2032 and plans for further future projects
  • The multi-year agreement secures growth opportunities along the supply chain, maximizes planning security and triggers incentives for further investments in capacity

TenneT has awarded NKT, Nexans and a consortium of Jan De Nul, LS Cable and Denys to install 525 kV HVDC cable systems for ten projects. The total volume of the contracts for the production and installation of the ten cable systems amounts to approximately € 5.5 billion. With this agreement, TenneT completes the process of the large-scale tender cable launched in November 2022 for grid connection systems dedicated to a total of fourteen offshore and one onshore corridor project.

Awarded projects           

NKT will realise the connections for Nederwiek 3, landing onshore at either Geertruidenberg or Moerdijk and the connections for Doordewind 1 and Doordewind 2, landing at Eemshaven.

Nexans has been awarded a contract for the cable connections of BalWin3 and LanWin4, to be connected at Wilhelmshaven as well as LanWin2 in Lower Saxony, to be connected in the Heide area in Schleswig-Holstein.

The consortium of Jan De Nul, LS Cable and Denys will realize the cable connections in Lower Saxony, to BalWin4 and LanWin1, both to be connected in Unterweser area, and LanWin5 in the Rastede area. This consortium has also been awarded the contract for the TenneT part of the onshore 525 kV DC corridor NordOstLink in Schleswig-Holstein Germany, a partner project with 50Hertz.

The scope of work of the contracts includes cable design, engineering, production, delivery, project management, onshore-, offshore- and nearshore installation of 525 kV HVDC cables and all jointing works in submarine and on land sections. The selected parties expect to start activities in the course of 2023. The expected start for onshore cable laying activities will be after 2025. For offshore the cable laying activities will be in 2026. All 2 GW offshore projects are expected to be operational by 2031. The NordOstLink project is expected to be operational in 2032.

7,000 kilometres of HVDC cables             

Tim Meyerjürgens, COO TenneT said: “After recent awarding of the first five cable connections and the announcement of the suppliers for the sea- and land-based converter stations, we are again very proud to announce the partners for the multi-year agreement to produce and install the cables for these crucial and innovative grid connection systems for the energy transition. Together, we will deliver around 7,000 kilometres of HVDC cable for fifteen on- and offshore grid connection systems in Germany and the Netherlands by 2032 with this award alone.”

NKT President and CEO Alexander Kara said: “We are very satisfied to once again be selected as a key partner for the ambitious 2GW Program which confirms our strong position in the high-voltage DC power cable market. We recently announced the contract award from TenneT for Ijmuiden Ver and Nederwiek 2, which are also part of the 2GW Program and will be some of the world’s first offshore wind farms to apply the 525 kV XLPE HVDC technology to offshore power cables. With this framework agreement, we continue our close collaboration with TenneT and apply this innovate cable technology to additional projects in the North Sea.”

Vincent Dessale, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Executive Vice President of Nexans said: “The need to massively invest in offshore grids in Europe can only happen by creating strong and long term partnerships between suppliers and transmission system operators – based on trust, transparency and joint technology developments. The frame agreement developed by TenneT is the perfect answer to those challenges and Nexans is proud to be involved in those ground-breaking developments and delighted to be trusted by TenneT. Our partnership can only reinforce our respective and continued dedication to the energy transition through offshore wind energy around the world.”

Philippe Hutse, Director Offshore Division at Jan De Nul Group: “From the very start, we embraced TenneT’s new approach in which cooperation and transparency is key. The resulting multi-year framework agreement gives us the much-desired planning security which we and the offshore energy industry have been desperately requesting for quite some time. Together with our consortium partners LS Cable & System and Denys, we are delighted to sign this contract with TenneT and contribute to Europe’s vision towards energy security and decarbonisation.This award represents a recognition of our expertise in the realisation of complex cable installation projects and the construction of the energy transition.”

Trigger for investments

Marco Kuijpers, Director Large Projects Offshore at TenneT said: “We are proud to have awarded these framework cooperation agreements in a short time period. The new tender approach speeds up the process, with agreements reached with all suppliers in six months. Such  a process would normally take up to 18 months. We are also happy that the long term framework agreement include partnership values, which is a strong basis for the successful delivery of the projects. These contracts have already initiated serious investments and will give planning security and predictability to our suppliers, who can start investing in extra resources, production facilities, cable laying vessels and trenching tools.”

Innovative cooperation TenneT and market parties

New to the 2 GW direct current (HVDC) solution based on 525 kV is that it requires only one cable system, and therefore limits the impact on the environment, on nature and the seabed. A cable system will consist of four cables, a ‘plus’ and ‘minus’ pole cable, a metallic return cable and a fibre optic cable. With a firm belief that the energy transition will only succeed in a spirit of cooperation, TenneT together with market parties started in 2020 already to develop a research and development (R&D) initiative for the 2 GW, 525 kV  HVDC grid connection system. With twice the size of current connection systems, the new 2 GW standard needs an offshore cable system operating at a 525 kV HVDC voltage level and uses innovative extruded insulation types. The certification of cable suppliers in 2022 is a result of the constructive and intensive dialogue between TenneT and the relevant market parties involved. Together, the collaboration has provided insights on the required functionality and performance of this innovative HVDC system.

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