The Netherlands and United Kingdom link wind farms in the North Sea

The future IJmuiden Ver wind farm, which will be built some 80 kilometres off the coast of the North Sea, must also be connected to the British electricity grid. This is the result of a cooperation agreement between the Dutch grid operator Tennet and the British National Grid. At the same time, large British wind farms in the North Sea must be connected to the Dutch electricity grid.

The Netherlands already has an electricity connection with Great Britain with which the Netherlands in particular exports electricity from the Second Maasvlakte in Rotterdam. The exchange of electricity between North Sea countries will become increasingly important as electricity production becomes more sustainable. Because wind and sun do not allow themselves to be steered by man, there will sometimes be a shortage and sometimes a surplus.

Jan Paul Dijckmans of Tennet is responsible for the cooperation and believes that the energy systems of the United Kingdom and the Netherlands can complement each other well. Great Britain, for example, has far more nuclear energy than the Netherlands. If the wind does not blow for once and the sun does not shine, that will be a welcome addition to the Dutch system in the future. It relies mainly on wind and sun, with support from traditional gas-fired power stations for the time being.

By connecting new large wind farms of the two countries in the middle of the North Sea, the exchange can take place immediately and the electricity does not have to be brought ashore before it can be exported. The Netherlands is also working with Germany and Denmark on this type of connection project for electricity from offshore wind farms.

North Sea network

It is expected that all the North Sea countries together will fill up up to a quarter of the North Sea with wind farms over the next thirty years. This means that a large electricity network will also be built under the seabed. By linking the wind farms of all the North Sea countries together, not only will it be possible to exchange energy, but the countries will also save a great deal of money in the construction of this infrastructure.

The United Kingdom is leading the way in Europe in the development of wind at sea. The future Dutch wind farms will border on the UK. Tennet is therefore pleased that, despite the brexit, pragmatic cooperation with the National Grid is continuing. IJmuiden Ver has already been designated by the government as a wind energy area, but the wind farm has yet to be put out to tender.