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Electrical Infrastructure

Design Considerations

David Flood
Head of Electrical
Systems, Forewind

Stakeholder Workshops,
April 2010
Starting points for design (1)

 Approximate “Footprint” of offshore wind-farm location

– from offshore exercise
 Onshore connection point to UK Transmission Network
• Location, Timing for this point set by National Grid
• Developer has modest impact on choice of onshore
connection location

Forewind must develop the optimum

connection strategy to link together these
two points
Starting points for design (2)

UK Transmission  Technical Turbine

Network • Distance to existing grid or possible Arrays
connection point
National Grid Developer
• Voltage level at existing grid (typically
V= 400kV AC 400kV)
• Available capacity on grid and at V= ??? AC
connection point
• Electrical losses
NG Sub-Station

 Cost
 Environmental issues
 Visual impacts
 Health and Safety
Starting points for design (3)

UK Transmission Turbine
Network Arrays

National Grid Developer

V= 400kV AC  Cooperation and dialogue

• Grid companies V= ??? AC

• Land owners
• Authorities
NG Sub-Station

• Technology suppliers
Collecting the power from the turbines
Typical inter array layout

Radial configuration Arrays
• Most common solution
• Adopted from onshore wind farms
• “String” a number of turbines along a 33kV cable
• Approximately 8 turbines on each array string V≥33kV AC
(max. 40MW)

Offshore Collector Station

Power collection added

UK Transmission Offshore Turbine

Network Collection Arrays

National Grid Developer Developer

V= 400kV AC
 Next step: then OFTO

• Connection to shore V≥132 kV AC V≥33kV AC

Offshore Collector Station

NG Sub-Station
Exporting the power to shore (1)

 Two main choices of transmission to shore exist:

• DC – Direct Current always flows in the same direction, but it
may increase and decrease
• AC – Alternating Current flows one way, then the other way,
continually reversing direction

 Mains electricity in the UK has a frequency of 50Hz AC

 DC more suitable for transmission over long distances

• Lower losses
• Fewer cables
• But requires large converter stations at each end
HVDC converters
- What do these look like? [courtesy of ABB]

Murraylink HVDC Light, Berri

station (220MW)

BorWin1 offshore converter

station (400MW)
Power transmission added

UK Transmission Export Cable and DC Offshore Turbine

Network Conversion Collection Arrays

National Grid Developer then Offshore Developer Developer

Transmission Owner (OFTO) then OFTO
V= 400kV AC
V= +/-320kV DC V ≥132kV AC V≥33kV AC
Onshore Converter Station

Offshore Converter Station

Offshore Collector Station

Onshore Cable Route
NG Sub-Station

Offshore Cable Route

Cable Landfall
Cost/risk/consenting considerations
in route selection (1)

 Offshore AC array cables

• Minimise array string lengths
• Minimise losses
• Avoid crossing array strings with export cable
• Scour can cause lengths of hanging cable (risk of damage)

 Offshore DC export cables

• Minimise cable length if possible
• Minimise number of crossings (pipelines, other cables etc)
• Pair of DC cables can be “bundled” into single export cable
• Need to have consented “corridor” to allow cable route to
deviate around archaeology, sensitive sites etc
• Avoid areas where potential for damage to cable from
fishing/shipping activity
Cost/risk/consenting considerations
in route selection (2)

 Landfall point
• Preferably chosen to minimise overall export distance
• Focus on consentability of location to reduce cost and
consenting burden

 Onshore DC export cables

• Minimise cable length where possible – capital cost
• Minimise onshore crossings – railways, rivers etc. All add
cost, time and consenting burden

 Onshore converter station

• 120m x 60m x 23m footprint (approx.), with associated impact
• Needs to be in relatively close proximity to National Grid
Transmission Network connection

 Inputs:
• Wind-farm locations for each table informed by Offshore
Exercise output
• Connection points to transmission network given by “National
Grid Offshore Development Information Statement”

 Design the best connection routes to:

• Minimise overall cable lengths
• Ensure consentability of chosen route (onshore sub-station,
onshore cable route, landfall point, offshore cable route)
• Minimise number of crossings (cables, pipelines, rivers,
railways etc)
• Avoid sterilising areas of Dogger Bank Zone for future
development with chosen export cable route