Swedish energy group backs HVDC for Norfolk offshore wind

Vattenfall, the Swedish energy group, said today that it wants to take a lead in transmission cable technology development that will be good for the consumer and lessens impact on the environment from far offshore, large scale wind farms.

The energy business plans to deploy High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable technology to connect Norfolk Vanguard and its sister project Norfolk Boreas to the UK’s National Grid. The wind farm developer says that it has made a strategic decision to back HVDC on the Norfolk projects for two reasons. Firstly, Vattenfall believes it will be cost competitive with High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) technology due largely to lower losses of transmitted electricity, fewer cables connecting the wind farms to the grid and innovation leading to lower cost on and offshore substations and associated equipment.

Secondly, compared to HVAC connecting big, distant from shore wind farms to national grids, HVDC will have less of an impact on the environment and local people where onshore infrastructure is located.

To realise the benefits of its technology leadership in transmission technology for far offshore, large scale offshore wind, Vattenfall also said it wants to strengthen its partnerships with HVDC cable and component manufacturers as well as platform manufacturers and civil construction companies.

Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s Head of Business Area Wind, said: “Vattenfall wants to be a leader in maturing HVDC technology to connect its large-scale, far offshore wind farms – like Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas - to national grids. In taking that lead, we will work with HVDC technology suppliers to deliver cost competitiveness for big offshore wind farm projects. Importantly, it also means that our decision to deploy HVDC for projects like Norfolk Vanguard and Norfolk Boreas is kinder to the environment and local people.”

Vattenfall’s 1.8GW Norfolk Vanguard is expected to receive a consent decision from the UK Government at the end of 2019 and if permitted will be up and running by the middle of the 2020s. Its sister project, Norfolk Boreas is following behind in the planning process.

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