During the North Sea Summit in Ostend this afternoon, Dutch Minister Rob Jetten and his British counterpart Grant Shapps will announce a new electricity connection between the Netherlands and the UK. What is unique about this new link is that it will also directly connect a Dutch wind farm.

The interconnection, named “LionLink”, will be around 250 km long and aims to increase CO2 emission reduction, interconnection with abroad and security of supply. Linking offshore wind farms via the first cross-border direct current cable of this size is another step towards an integrated offshore grid in the North Sea.

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2 GW of electricity

‘The North Sea will become the largest supplier of green electricity for the Netherlands and large parts of Europe,’ says Dutch Minister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten. ‘Close cooperation in offshore wind energy and interconnections between North Sea countries are essential in this respect. LionLink can supply almost 2 GW of electricity to both countries, enough to power 2 million households. This new connection also ensures greater energy security and energy independence in Europe. For example, if there is a surplus of wind power, it can immediately be shared with countries with a power shortage, and vice versa.’

LionLink is a multi-purpose connection designed to connect a 2 GW Dutch offshore wind farm to both countries subsea. This connection allows for more efficient use of infrastructure. At the same time, the impact on coastal municipalities is reduced because fewer separate connections and only limited infrastructure are required.

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Powerhouse North Sea

Manon van Beek, CEO TenneT, adds: ‘It is our belief that offshore hubs configured in a meshed DC grid should form the backbone of Powerhouse North Sea. This idea is gaining support and for us it is more than just a vision for the future. In fact, we are already working on it by starting this groundbreaking LionLink project. It is a first step and a great opportunity to gain experience as the offshore network takes shape.’

The EU and UK have a joint offshore wind energy target of around 120 GW by 2030 in the North Sea. With this, offshore wind farms will make an important contribution to energy security and climate targets. The Netherlands will realise around 21 GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and is investigating whether 50 GW by 2040 and 72 GW by 2050 are feasible given the physical space, ecological impact and electricity demand. The UK aims to produce up to 50 GW of offshore wind power by 2030.

Picture: Concept impression of the “LionLink” (©LionLink).

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