The world’s most powerful offshore wind energy converter station has been installed in the North Sea, to connect the massive DolWin2 cluster of offshore wind farms to the German grid.
The 320-kilvolt Dolwin Beta converter station with a 916MW power transmission capacity was developed by leading global power and automation technology group, ABB, and will be housed on a huge offshore platform (see image below).
The complete platform including substructure weighs around 23,000 tons and is around 100 meters long, 70 meters wide and 100 meters tall. It was transported last year from Dubai, where it was built, to Aibel’s shipyard in Norway, where it was outfitted and one week ago sailed for its final destination in the DolWin cluster, 45 kilometers off the German coast.
“Putting such a huge platform in place is one of the most delicate operations in the delivery of an offshore power link, requiring intensive pre-planning and cooperation between the stakeholders involved and we are pleased that this important project landmark has gone smoothly,” said Claudio Facchin, President, ABB Power Systems division.
ABB was awarded the turnkey responsibility for the design, engineering, supply and installation of the offshore wind connection by TenneT, a leading European transmission system operator. The project scope includes the offshore converter station, the sea and land cable systems, and the onshore converter station.
ABB’s converter station will convert the electricity generated by the offshore wind farms from alternating current (AC) into high-voltage direct current (HVDC) for efficient and reliable transmission to the mainland.
The DolWin2 project – which will be operated by transmission system operator TenneT – is part of Germany’s “Energiewende”, which foresees the generation of more than 6.5GW from offshore wind by 2020 and 15GW by 2030.
The DolWin1 grid connection, which ABB commissioned and handed over to transmission system operator TenneT at the end of July 2015, contributes to this goal.
“After the successful handover of the DolWin1 link in July, this is another key milestone in the execution of our offshore wind projects,” said ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer. “It is a further example of our focus on relentless execution and of the ongoing progress in the Power Systems division’s Step Change program.”