A new report from UK grid operator National Grid ESO has found that an integrated approach offshore could save consumers approximately £6 billion ($7.7 billion) by 2050, Kallanish Energy reports.
As part of the ongoing Offshore Wind Coordination project, National Grid ESO published its latest findings on Wednesday, detailing potential capital and operating expenditure savings that connecting offshore renewable power and interconnectors to the country’s grid would provide.
The report found that these savings are highest (up to 30%) where high levels of offshore wind need to be connected to parts of the onshore network already nearing operational limits, or where wind farms are located far from shore.
It also highlighted potentially significant environmental and social benefits, as the number of onshore and offshore assets, cables and onshore landing points could potentially be reduced by around 50%.
The report stated that while the majority of technologies required for an integrated design are either currently available or will be by 2030, with high-voltage direct circuit breakers forming a key component to this approach. National Grid ESO said that a “targeted innovation strategy could help progress these assets to commercial use and establish the UK as a world leader in offshore grids.”
National Grid ESO has called for comments on the report and the ongoing consultation, with an October 28 deadline set for responses.
In September, energy consultancy DNV GL was selected by National Grid ESO to lead the national offshore wind grid development project. DNV will assess the viability of a coordinated approach to ensuring wind turbines, substations and cables are connected to the UK grid safely and effectively. (See related article)
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