Developing a transnational electricity infrastructure offshore: Design, operation and regulatory issues
The new energy policy of the European Union (EU) with the core objectives of competitiveness, reliability and sustainability, has driven Europe into a transition towards a low carbon & sustainable electricity supply systems. Under the new policy, the European energy systems are pursing two major objectives. First is to shift the focus from national to regional or (perhaps) a European level with the ultimate goal of introducing regional markets that facilitate cross-border power trades. Second, is to incorporate large renewable energy sources into the power systems to best exploit the energy resources. In this regards, special attention is oriented towards the development of the offshore gird in the North Sea region where offshore wind is abundant and has potential to become major energy source in the area. This project looks into transmission expansion planning in the North Sea region. It presents a market based approach to solve a long-term transmission expansion planning for a meshed VSC-HVDC offshore grid that connect regional markets. The main goal here is to determine the grid design that enables harnessing the offshore wind energy most efficiently, at the same time, creating capacity for conducting cross-border power exchange. Development of an offshore grid in the North Sea can encounter various technical, legal and economic barriers. Consequently, advanced planning frameworks are required that enables accounting for these issues. This project seeks for a methodology to investigate the impact of each of these factors on the development of offshore infrastructures.