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With expertise from Flanders: 1st offshore interconnector

Elia – a high-voltage grid operator headquartered in Brussels, the capital of Belgium and Flanders – will help connect the offshore wind parks of Denmark and Germany. In a world first, the project will contribute to enabling Europe’s green transformation. Moreover, it only adds to Belgium’s and Flanders’ track record in offshore wind production, which ranks 4th worldwide.

Elia Group first offshore interconnector

International offshore wind interconnector

In virtually every European country with a coastline, offshore wind farms are being built to support Europe’s energy transition. However, offshore wind farms must also be interconnected as well as linked to the electricity grids of various countries to open the door to green electricity for countries with short or no coastlines.

Belgian high-voltage operator Elia and its Danish counterpart Energinet have taken the lead in this respect. How? By jointly investing EUR 300 million in the construction of a 25-km subsea connection, which will link two German wind farms as well as a Danish one in the Baltic Sea. In turn, these wind farms will be connected to the German and Danish mainland. The international offshore wind interconnector will go by the name of Combined Grid Solution.

World first

With this project, Elia – through its German subsidiary Hertz – and Energinet signed for the world’s first-ever offshore wind energy network. The strong European support for the project – half of the total investment amount is subsidized – shows that a great deal is expected from the development of offshore wind hubs.

This has everything to do with Europe’s conviction that offshore wind networks like the Combined Grid Solution will play a crucial role in transitioning toward a greener electricity supply for the whole of Europe in the coming decades.

Looking ahead

Firmly positioning itself as a wind energy pioneer, Elia’s ambition is to develop additional offshore grids in the future. There are no concrete projects in the works yet, but according to Elia Group CEO Chris Peeters, the company is currently studying various possibilities in the North Sea.

More info

Reported by
De Standaard newspaper
28 October 2020

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