GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business announced that it has been awarded three High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) contracts for a total of approximately 6 billion euros as part of a specially formed consortium with Sembcorp Marine for TenneT’s innovative 2GW Program in the Netherlands. The contracts have been awarded as part of a five-year Framework Cooperation Agreement with the possibility to extend for another three years.
Furthermore, TenneT and a consortium formed by GE and McDermott have entered into an agreement based on which TenneT plans to award two further HVDC contracts in Germany for a total of approximately 4 billion euros to this consortium in April 2023.
The five contracts for the GE consortia are among 11 two-gigawatt (GW) contracts awarded to HVDC suppliers by the Dutch-German Transmission Systems Operator (TSO) as part of its goal to connect 40 GW of offshore wind farms to the high voltage grids in the Netherlands and Germany. TenneT’s large-scale project resulted from the Esbjerg Declaration in May 2022 at the North Sea Energy Summit, where Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Belgium agreed to jointly install at least 65 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030 – up from 20 GW today – to accelerate Europe’s energy security following recent geopolitical developments. TenneT plans to install 20 GW each in the Dutch and German North Sea.
The GE consortia projects cover the offshore converter platforms and the onshore converter stations for the two-way conversion between alternating and direct current. The converter stations are based on bipolar Voltage-Sourced Converter (VSC) technology – the most advanced HVDC technology – and will have double the capacity compared to previous monopole grid connection systems, resulting in fewer cables and platforms.
Tim Meyerjürgens, TenneT COO, said: “We are delighted to be working with GE and their consortium partners as part of our task to connect 40 GW offshore wind in the North Sea, one of the most important infrastructure projects of the century. TenneT has the technical know-how, scale, and geographical position to connect wind energy from the North Sea, while GE and its consortium partners have the HVDC expertise. Together, with the GE consortia and other HVDC partners we will accelerate the development of the offshore grid, thereby strengthening Europe’s energy security and putting Europe on track to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.”
Philippe Piron, CEO of GE Grid Solutions, said: “Together with our consortium partners Sembcorp Marine and McDermott, we are honored and pleased to play a key role in this critical infrastructure project for European energy security and decarbonization. These awards confirm that GE’s Voltage-Sourced Converter HVDC technology is now recognized as one of the most advanced in the world.”
Johan Bindele, Senior Executive Director of the Grid Solutions Grid Systems Integration Business Line, added: “Our new and exciting partnership with TenneT will allow GE Grid Solutions to demonstrate its ability to deliver on this critical HVDC infrastructure and confirms our ambition to be a leading systems provider in the fast-growing HVDC market.”
GE consortium projects
The three Dutch GE/Sembcorp Marine consortium projects are: IJmuiden Ver Beta, IJmuiden Ver Gamma and Nederwiek 2. The IJmuiden Ver projects will be located about 62-km off the coast of the Netherlands, while the Nederwiek project will be located 95-km off the coast. The HVDC transmission will connect in Maasvlakte, Rotterdam. The contracts for the two IJmuiden projects come into effect immediately. The contract for Nederwiek 2 will come into effect in 2024. The two German GE/McDermott consortium 2 GW projects are: BalWin4 and LanWin1. They will be located about 160-km off the coast of Germany and will connect in Unterweser. Both contracts are expected to come into effect in April 2023.
The GE consortia will start preparatory work for the realization of all five projects with immediate effect to ensure that all projects can be delivered between 2029 and 2031.
As leader of these consortia, GE Grid Solutions will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning (EPCI) of the 2 GW bipolar HVDC converter stations for all the projects. The bipoles will be capable of transmitting 2 GW at 525 kV. GE’s VSC technology utilizes its second-generation Voltage-Sourced Converter valve and its state-of-the-art eLumina™ control system, the industry’s first to use a digital measurement system fully based on International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 61850, an important international standard defining communication protocols for intelligent electronic devices at electrical substations.
GE Grid Solutions’ Stafford facility in the West Midlands, UK, will manufacture all the primary HVDC sub-systems and equipment, while its facility in Berlin, Germany, will lead overall project management. GE expects the contracts to result in the creation of more than 200 new positions in the UK, France, and Germany, including in its supply chain.
GE’s consortium partner Sembcorp Marine, a Singapore-based global marine and offshore engineering group, will design, build, install and commission the offshore platforms, which will host the GE converter systems and equipment for the three Dutch projects. Located within each wind farm, the platforms will comprise a 25,500-tonne topside, and a 9,500-tonne jacket foundation structure piled into the seabed.
Chris Ong, CEO of Sembcorp Marine, said: “We are delighted together with our partner GE, to be selected by TenneT for three of their eleven two-gigawatt offshore converter platforms in the Netherlands. These are our largest and most advanced state-of-the-art offshore renewable energy projects to date. We thank GE and TenneT for their trust and confidence in our offshore construction capabilities. We look forward to contributing to TenneT’s vision and decarbonization objectives.”
McDermott of the US, a global provider of engineering and construction solutions to the energy industry, will design, fabricate, install, and commission the offshore converter substation platforms for the two German 2 GW HVDC grid connection systems. Each offshore converter substation platform will comprise a topside, weighing approximately 26,000 tonnes, which will be supported by a jacket substructure, weighing approximately 11,000 tonnes.
“Our integrated EPCIC delivery model, combined with nearly a century of executing some of the most challenging offshore projects in the world, make us ideally suited to support TenneT on this important offshore grid connection systems project,” said Vaseem Khan, McDermott’s Senior Vice President for Onshore.
TenneT’s 2GW Program – the new global offshore standard
With its 2GW offshore program, TenneT has developed the global offshore standard in cooperation with leading global suppliers. This new standard combines TenneT’s extensive expertise in offshore grid connections with a unique transnational approach to accelerate Europe’s energy transition. Due to its new innovative design, which results in a higher transmission capacity, the 2GW Program will reduce the impact on the environment, while saving on costs and resources.
Source: GE Renewable Energy