T&D World Magazine

Offshore Power Network in Europe to Enable Renewable Energy to be Connected

Imera will build North Sea and Atlantic electricity grids, connecting key markets and offshore wind farms as the foundation for a pan-European offshore electricity network. The EuropaGrid will enable the development of a true European integrated power market and greatly enhance electricity security of supply.

Imera's unveiling of its plans follows the EU's announcement of a EUR5 billion stimulus package that includes schemes for increased interconnection.

Commenting on the EU announcement, Rory O'Neill, Imera's CEO said, "There are two main factors which are driving the development of the North Sea Grid - the EU's call for increased interconnection across Europe as a priority issue, and the EU's target of 20% of its required energy from renewable sources by 2020. Imera's EuropaGrid will not only fast-track increased cross-border interconnection in Europe, but also enable enormous growth in renewable generation developments."

The Imera EuropaGrid project will comprise two networks:

  • EuropaGrid North Sea - connecting Scandinavia, Western Europe and the UK. The first phase represents an investment of EUR2.76 Billion.
  • EuropaGrid Atlantic - connecting UK, Ireland, France & Spain. The first phase represents an investment of EUR1.65 Billion. Imera is already developing this with the first cables coming in to operation in 2010.

The key benefits of the EuropaGrid project to the EU include:

  • A single electricity market will ensure security of energy supply, increased competition, and more efficient energy trading within the EU.
  • Connecting offshore wind will drive the development of renewable technologies and projects with existing and innovative transmission technology.
  • It solves the grid connection problems many wind power developers face today and helps to stabilise the power flow coming from these large offshore wind farms.
  • As a private sector developer Imera funds its own development costs, therefore no costs are passed on to the taxpayers or electricity users.

Imera is an asset investment company specializing in the development of subsea power interconnectors and power transmission grids and has recently received EU approval for its first interconnectors linking Ireland and the UK. At present, Imera holds five licenses and is actively developing interconnectors between Ireland and the UK, France and the UK, and Belgium and the UK. These projects form the foundation for EuropaGrid.

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