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ABOUT THE PROJECT

PROMOTioN seeks to develop meshed HVDC offshore grids on the basis of cost-effective and reliable technological innovation in combination with a sound political, financial and legal regulatory framework.

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Application & Call

The project ‘PROgress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks’ (PROMOTioN) applied in 2015 for funding under the EU Horizon 2020 (H2020) programme call ‘Competitive Low-Carbon Energy’ 5 (LCE 5). Within the framework of modernisation of the European electricity grid, this call focused on advancing innovation and technologies relevant to the deployment of meshed off-shore HVDC grids. Its specific objective is to pursue an agreement between network operators and major equipment suppliers regarding a technical architecture and a set of multi-vendor interoperable technologies in order to accelerate HVDC grid development.

"An offshore grid in the North Sea could become a flagship project for regional cooperation."

Marie Donnelly (DG Energy - European Commission)

PROMOTioN actively addresses the objectives that LCE 5 encompasses. Specifically, these are to:

  • Identify requirements for energy infrastructure priority corridors
    The requirements embrace a broad range of issues, such as the design, development and deployment of the energy infrastructure from a technical, financial, regulatory, managerial and policy perspective.
  • Facilitate agreement among operators and manufacturers
    Manufacturers and operators need to agree on architectures, control structures and interfaces in order to ensure interoperability and multi-vendor compatibility of equipment.
  • Demonstrate cost-effective HVDC grid technologies
    Full-scale and industrially relevant demonstrations will be carried out of novel & innovative components required to enable the realisation of meshed HVDC transmission grids:
    -    HVDC circuit breakers
    -    HVDC gas insulated switchgear
    -    HVDC network protection systems
    -    HVDC network control strategies
    -    Harmonic performance of wind turbine generators
  • Prepare the first phase for deployment of innovative components…
    … of interoperable meshed offshore HVDC network technologies, services, tools and architectures.
  • Propose market rules and revenue streams…
    … to help establish a suitable package of financial resources.
  • Propose regulations for permitting and environmental compatibility
    PROMOTioN aims to set up a regulatory framework for the operation and management of meshed offshore grids governing legal, technical, and market-related aspects

"There is great potential in the Northern Seas to deliver significant quantities of clean energy."

Marie Donnelly (DG Energy - European Commission)

Context

A meshed European offshore transmission grid connecting offshore wind farms to shore could provide significant financial, technical and environmental benefits to the European electricity market. Launched in January 2016, PROMOTioN aims to explore and identify these potential benefits.

The main objective of PROMOTioN is the further development and demonstration of four key technologies: multi-vendor HVDC (high-voltage direct current) grid protection systems, HVDC network control systems, long duration testing of HVDC GIS (gas insulated switchgear) and full power testing of HVDC circuit breakers. Complementary to this, a regulatory and financial framework will be developed for the coordinated planning, construction and operation of integrated offshore infrastructures, including an offshore grid deployment plan (roadmap) for the future offshore grid system in Europe.

Currently, the high costs of converter technology combined with a lack of experience with protection systems and fault clearance components, hamper the deployment of meshed HVDC offshore grids. In addition, deployment is hindered by limitations inherent to existing European regulations regarding the development of cross-border offshore infrastructures, national legal and regulatory barriers, and financing issues.