Wind power is one of the cleanest, most sustainable energy sources on the planet. Harnessing wind power to generate electricity is not without its challenges though, and new developments are constantly being made to increase the scope and technology used in wind power. One company that’s actively involved in this kind of development is the Dutch electric company TenneT. In fact, right now the company is planning to build a wind farm island in the North Sea, off the coast of England.
The island would house facilities that are much bigger than any of the nearby offshore wind farms, and it would act as a kind of operational hub for the existing farms. Dogger Bank is located about 78 miles off the East coast of England and is the proposed site for the wind farm island. After it’s built and operational, the hub would send electricity to the United Kingdom and the Netherlands via long-distance underwater cables. Eventually, the island may even be able to power portions of Germany, Denmark, and Belgium.
Other industries have started to claim spots closer to shore, so companies involved in the wind energy industry, like TenneT, have started to look at locations further offshore. It’s hard to predict just how profitable the Dogger Bank project will be at this time.
As mentioned above, the wind farm island would be a kind of hub for other existing wind farms. These current farms would send electricity to the island via short distance, cost-effective cables to be stored. The stored energy would be converted from alternate current to direct current, making it easier to transmit across the long distance back to the English mainland. This method allows tremendous flexibility regarding where the energy is transmitted, ensuring that the areas that need it the most won’t be left high and dry.
TenneT’s undertaking could set a precedent in the area, and the Dutch are already looking at building their own windfarm islands. It’s not uncommon to see this type of “keeping up with the Joneses” among nations when it comes to development, but it’s good to know that this type of competition will result in more sustainable energy and a cleaner environment.