Dutch engineering firm KCI has won a competition to design an offshore switch yard which will combine the generated power from several offshore wind farms and bring it to shore via one cable.
The yard will be situated off the Belgian coast, where four offshore wind farms are likely to increase to nine.
KCI is to carry out the concept verification and basic design of the yard, which will replace the current system where each wind farm has an individual cable connecting it to onshore power systems.
The initial plan is for a modular grid which will facilitate shared use. From the outside, the designs are similar to any substation. Inside it will house 220kV gas insulated switch gear and multiple submarine cable connections. Whereas a substation often has an export cable of around diameter 100mm to 150mm, the cable of the OSY will be much thicker.
KCI says these plans are the first design of their kind anywhere in the world.