The North Seas Offshore Grid

CIEP, October 2015
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The concept of a North Seas Offshore Grid (NSOG) has been extensively discussed in the context of increasing offshore wind capacity in Northwest Europe. This paper distinguishes between two approaches for developing an NSOG, i.e. the hub/interconnector approach and the integrated approach.

The hub/interconnector approach incorporates the formation of hubs for the connection of offshore wind parks and the expansion of interconnection capacity. The integrated approach also includes so-called combined solutions in addition to the formation of hubs and expansion of interconnectors. Combined solutions are novel transmission infrastructures that integrate the connection of offshore wind parks with interconnectors.

This CIEP report provides an overview of the recent developments in the North Seas area and reflects on the merits of both approaches, the complications surrounding them, and the suitability of the observed regulatory models for connecting offshore wind assets to the onshore transmission system.