Innovation, sustainability and knowledge sharing

Offshore Service Facilities (OSF) founded a consortium of strong parties with vast experience in both offshore wind and land reclamation projects which is developing a multi-purpose artificial island in the wind farm area IJmuiden Ver (IJVER). OSF intends to realise an iconic island, a showcase of innovation, sustainability, engineering excellence and ecological enhancement to further facilitate the energy transition.

Offshore wind will play a crucial role in the realisation of the Dutch climate objectives. The Dutch offshore wind roadmap 2030 forecasts 11.5 GW of offshore wind capacity in 2030 to facilitate the energy transition. Plans for the period thereafter are yet to be finalised, but with projected offshore wind capacities in the Dutch North Sea ranging between 35 - 75 GW and the wider North Sea over 200 GW, the ambitions of all coastal states are high.

This also poses challenges, as the generated energy will need to be transported to the consumer. Artificial islands can play a key role in facilitating this: as hubs in a wider energy system, as locations for the required infrastructure and as base for further renewable energy related activities. Islands will also ensure costs are kept in check and stimulate the multi-use of space to unlock the full potential of the largest Dutch source of sustainable energy.

TenneT, the Dutch transmission system operator (TSO), also sees these opportunities, and has concluded that a basic island solution for wind farm area IJVER is 10 - 15% cheaper than a more traditional design in which the electrical infrastructure is placed on fixed offshore platforms (so-called jackets). However, in the context of IJVER timelines, the TSO also identified risks in the execution as the concept would be first of its kind. An approach based on two 2 GW HVDC stations on jacket foundations would provide more certainty of connecting the first IJVER wind farm within the timeframe set out by the government. The HVDC stations would be commissioned in 2027 and 2029.

OSF offers to mitigate the timing risks, by developing a multi-purpose artificial island at IJVER at its own risk and expense and in a parallel trajectory to TenneT. In this dual track development, TenneT can focus on the traditional jacket solution and the challenging on- and offshore cable trajectories, while OSF details out the island in parallel for the second 2 GW connection. By planning the island on the exact same location as the second HVDC station, TenneT can stick to its process for spatial planning of the second HVDC station and associated cable routes. This way TenneT will have a free option to make use of the island without being exposed to the execution risks.