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European offshore supergrid organisation set up

An organisation to progress policy towards construction of a pan-European offshore supergrid, Friends of the Supergrid, has been set up.

The Friends of the Supergrid companies are from sectors that will deliver the high voltage direct current (HVDC) infrastructure and related technology, and sectors that will develop, install, own and operate that infrastructure.

Friends of the Supergrid says the offshore supergrid is not an extension of existing or planned point-to-point HVDC interconnectors between particular states. “Even the aggregation of these schemes will not provide the network that will be needed to carry marine renewable power generated in our Northern seas to the load centres of central Europe,” the organisation adds.

The offshore supergrid will have ‘supernodes’ to collect, integrate and route renewable energy to markets using HVDC technology.

Mainstream Renewable Power’s Chief Executive Dr Eddie O’Connor, says: “The UK Government has recently shown its commitment to large-scale offshore wind by announcing the development of up to 50 GW by 2020.

“We now need to integrate this huge resource into Europe to enable the open trade of electricity between Member States.”

At the end of 2009, 9 EU Member States signed the political declaration for the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative, and in February, Norway joined them. The aim is to develop policy do advance offshore interconnection in Europe.

About Friends of the Supergrid

Membership will be kept to a maximum of 20 companies representing an industrial and geographic cross section. The base will be in Brussels.

Members:

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Energy infrastructure  •  Other marine energy and hydropower  •  Wave and tidal energy  •  Wind power

 

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