Fugro wins marine site characterisation contract for Danish energy island hub

Artist’s impression of the planned Energy Island Hub in the Danish North Sea (image courtesy of Energinet)
© Energinet

The Danish network operator Energinet has awarded Fugro a marine site characterisation contract for the Danish Energy Island project which is planned 80 km off the Danish coast in the North Sea. Fugro will perform geophysical and unexploded ordnance (UXO) magnetometry surveys, which will be used to prepare an integrated geological and geotechnical soil model on which wind farm developers will base future tenders.

The contract is part of Energinet’s preliminary studies to build the world’s first ‘hub and spoke’ energy scheme: an energy island 80 km off the Danish coast which will act as a transmission centre for hundreds of surrounding wind turbines.

The fieldwork will run from May to November 2021, resuming in February and March 2022, and will comprise two phases: Phase 1 will deliver the geophysical surveys, including seabed sampling and soil data down to at least 100 m below the seabed; Phase 2 will be the UXO magnetometry survey, using Fugro’s dedicated Geowing solution. Fugro’s expert survey and offshore wind consultancy teams will use the acquired Geo-data to provide a reliable derisked site interpretation.

“The geophysical studies have to cover a very large area, and it’s important that they meet the time schedule. We are therefore pleased that an experienced and professional company such as Fugro will be performing the surveys in the North Sea,” said Poul-Jacob Vilhelmsen, Project Manager for Energinet’s work on the future energy islands in Danish waters.

Rinse Jansch, Fugro’s Commercial Manager, said: “This latest award from Energinet underlines our commitment to supporting the offshore wind industry in the global energy transition and shows that quality and technical innovation wins contracts. Our innovative ultra high resolution subsoil Geo-data solutions will help future wind farm owners derisk the development and deliver cost-effective green energy to up to 10 million European households.”

Danish Energy Island Hub

The Danish Parliament agreed on 4 February to build an energy hub on an artificial island in the North Sea. The hub will collect the electricity produced by offshore wind farms and distributes it further to mainland Denmark and other connected countries. Energinet is already performing a feasibility study with Belgian network operator Elia for a 600 km connection between Belgium and the possible future energy island.

The first construction phase for the project includes the artificial island of the energy hub and wind turbines with a total of 3 GW of power. This phase is to be completed in 2030. In phases, extensions are possible to 10 GW capacity.

The investment costs up to and including the development phase with 10 GW are estimated at 28 billion euros. The concept of an energy hub on an artificial island opens up possibilities for further functional expansions such as facilities for the storage of electricity, the conversion of surplus electricity via electrolysis to hydrogen or the construction of a port.