Photo: Danish Energy Agency; North Sea Energy Island

Danes talk 62 MW offshore wind turbines for North Sea Energy Island

While we are keeping a close eye on the progress of the 15 MW and 16 MW wind turbines that are now in the prototype stage, the Danish Energy Agency (DEA) is considering the possibility that four times more powerful models could be available during the construction of offshore wind farms around the country’s energy island in the North Sea, as confirmed to Offshore Energy – Offshore Wind by the DEA.

Documents published by the Danish Energy Agency on 22 August as part of a public consultation process for the environmental assessment of the North Sea Energy Island state that the project could include 12 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2033, instead of 3 GW, and 40 GW by 2040, instead of the 10 GW planned under the political agreement from February 2021.

As reported earlier, the 3 GW of offshore wind capacity in the first phase is expected to be achieved by installing 200 turbines, meaning units with an output of 15 MW have been taken into account in the main plan for the project.

The massive increase in potential capacity that is now being considered is due to the wind turbine size and output that is envisaged as being available on the market by the time construction works begin on offshore wind farms in waters around the artificial island.

According to the DEA’s framework document for the draft plan for the strategic environmental assessment (SEA), this could be a 500-metre-tall wind turbine with a rotor diametre of 480 metres and a capacity of up to 62 MW.

The establishment of the artificial energy island will be one of the largest construction projects in Danish history, according to the Agency.

Apart from adding more clean power to the Danish grid, electricity from the energy island will also be exported to neighbouring countries, and the island must also allow the connection of technologies which can store or convert this green electricity, for example into green fuels using Power-to-X.

The Danish Energy Agency can confirm that the plan for the Program Energy Island North Sea gives the opportunity of using wind turbines of up to 62 MW each. The plan and the EIA will be done in a broader perspective than the politically agreed aims of 3 GW in 2033 and 10 GW in 2040 and also to ensure flexibility in the implementation of one of Denmark’s largest construction projects“, a spokesperson from the Danish Energy Agency said in a statement to Offshore Energy – Offshore Wind.

An image mapping cross-border connections of Danish North Sea Energy Island
Danish Energy Agency

Tender to build the North Sea Energy Island launches next year

The tender to build the North Sea Energy Island is expected to be announced in September 2023, twelve months later than initially planned, as the DEA wanted to perform more preparatory work after receiving feedback from the market through meetings it held so far.

Last month, the DEA said it had listened to the input from the private players who participated in the two market dialogues held in 2021 and who offered innovative solutions for how to best design the energy island in the North Sea, and which business model best equips the concept for the future. 

The Agency said its further work on the island’s business model and technical concept focuses on the flexible island concept in order to reap Denmark’s offshore wind resources in an optimal way, the DEA said last month.

The energy island will be built some 100 kilometres off the west coast of Jutland, near Thorsminde, with the connected offshore wind turbines to be installed at least 50 kilometres from the west coast of Jutland.

The final location of the offshore wind farms around the North Sea Energy Island will be determined later in connection with the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for each specific project, which will be carried out by the successful bidders.

The tenders for the construction of offshore wind farms will be invited separately after the process for the island is completed.