Bloomberg reports that the U.K. could save as much as $5.6 billion by connecting offshore wind farms to each other, cutting down on construction and operating costs.
As much as 15 percent of the cost could be knocked off the bill for building wind infrastructure, according to a report today from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and energy regulator Ofgem.
The U.K. is seeking to have about 18 gigawatts of turbines at sea installed, up from 2 gigawatts at present, to meet climate change goals. A European “supergrid,” linking Britain’s electricity network to the continent, could reduce the cost of connecting offshore wind farms by a quarter, according to the U.K. parliamentary Energy and Climate Change Committee.
“Linking up power cables between offshore wind farms could make some serious savings, so we would be crazy not to encourage it,” said Energy Minister Charles Hendry.
“The idea of a more streamlined and integrated offshore grid network has been around for some time,” said Beverley Walker, head of offshore renewables at global energy consultancy WSP Future Energy.
The idea of a “web” of cables would help address issues including intermittency, shortfalls in cable supply and the drive for cheaper infrastructure costs, she said.