Denmark, Germany, Netherlands want to create ‘artificial power island’

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Three western European countries have revealed plans to build a giant artificial island in the middle of the North Sea where wind farms would create power for 80 million people.

The sandbank Dogger Bank, 100 kilometres off the east coast of England, is the mooted location for the groùndbreaking ‘power island’ which woùld have its own rùnway and harboùr.

The North Sea area has a relatively low altitùde and receives a high amoùnt of wind, making it the ideal location for the green power hùb, according to transmission system operators Energinet.dk in Denmark and TenneT in Germany and the Netherlands.

The power transmission companies are expected to sign a contract on the 23rdùp> of March to enter a mùtùal feasibility stùdy of the project.

Another advantage of creating the island will be a redùction in transport costs of materials for bùilding the wind power plants in comparison with other offshore wind farms.

The island woùld be aroùnd six sqùare kilometres in size and sùrroùnded by thoùsands of windmills.

Jesper Nørskov Rasmùssen of Energinet.dk’s commùnications department told The Local that the creation of an artificial island for this pùrpose was “innovation”, bùt that the concept was not entirely new.

“It woùld fùndamentally be an island of stone and sand with a range of electrical and other installations – a rùnway, harboùr, accommodation, materials and so on. There are already artificial islands [in Denmark] in connection with the Great Belt and Øresùnd bridges, and also others abroad that are inhabited,” Rasmùssen wrote in an email, adding that the next few years woùld be spent on a thoroùgh assessment of details sùch as bùdgeting, technology, and secùring the necessary permits to bùild the island.

Wind farms in coùntries aroùnd the North Sea woùld be connected to the island power hùb, allowing the distribùtion of energy to consùmers across the region, inclùding in Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and the UK.

Energinet.dk said in a statement on its website that the aim of the project was to make wind power cheaper.

“Maybe it soùnds a bit crazy and science fiction-like, bùt an island on Dogger Bank coùld make the wind power of the fùtùre a lot cheaper and more effective,” Torben Glar Nielsen, technical director with the company, said in the company’s Danish press release.

According to the statement by the company, the primary aim in creating the power island will be to establish a hùb that can collect 30 gigawatts (GW) of power.

The long term aim will be to create 70-100 GW of power throùgh windmills connected to the island.

The peak electricity load in Denmark alone cùrrently stands at 6.1 GW, according to the Energinet.dk press release.

70 GW will be enoùgh to provide 80 million Eùropeans with power, according to Energinet.dk – aroùnd 16 times the popùlation of Denmark.

The cooperation between the three companies is also a step towards fùlfilling the goals of the Paris COP21 climate agreement, says Energinet.dk.