The second link between the Hollandse Kust offshore wind farm (west Alpha) and TenneT’s “socket at sea” is being completed by the Jan de Nul Group/LS Cable & System contractor partnership, which is located 50 km off the coast of Egmond aan Zee.
The cable-laying vessel Isaac Newton will appear this week off the coast of Heemskerk/Wijk aan Zee with more than sixty kilometers of sea cable on board. This wind farm’s first sea cable connection was finished early this year.
Jan de Nul will raise the first segment of the second cable for west Alpha about five kilometers from the coastline. The first kilometers of this cable were buried in the seabed last year after it had previously been hauled through the sand dunes. The (still-capped) end is attached to the cable on board the Isaac Newton using a so-called socket connection.
On the seafloor
The cable is laid back on the seafloor after the connection has been completed. The Belgian contractor’s fleet work ship Symphony makes an off-coast appearance at the same time. The unmanned cable-laying vehicle Swordfish is present. The enormous turntable on board the Isaac Newton will begin to carefully unwind the sea cable as soon as the ship sets sail. The Swordfish controls the Symphony from behind as it lays the cable in the ocean floor.
Electricity at sea
The cable will be set up as close as possible to the location where TenneT is having the offshore transformer platform for the “west Alpha” wind farm erected. At a distance of around 50 kilometers off the coast of Egmond aan Zee, the base is already submerged in the water. In summer, the prefabricated superstructure will be affixed to the top. TenneT will soon use this grid connection to transport marine energy to land.
A total of 54 wind turbines with a combined capacity of 756 megawatts will soon be part of the west Alpha wind farm, which will be developed and run by Ecowende (a joint venture between Shell and Eneco). That much renewable energy can supply about 3% of the Netherlands electricity consumption at the moment. One million families’ worth of consumption is represented by this. In 2026, the wind farm is anticipated to be completely operational.
Image source: IRO