East Anglia 3 (EA 3), one of the three offshore wind farms of 3GW East Anglia Zone, has begun construction with the initial focus to build onshore VSC – HVDC converter station. In 2021, a consortium of Siemens Energy and Aker Solutions was awarded a NOK 3 billion contract to build HVDC converter stations and an offshore wind farm. NKT was also granted the contract for cable installation. The 300-kilometer HVDC connection will enable the transmission of 1400 MW of electric power at 380 kV DC voltage to an onshore converter station in Suffolk. EA 3 will play a pivotal role in meeting the UK’s rising electricity demand by powering 1.3 million households by 2026. In addition, the East Anglia offshore wind zone will contribute nearly 7% of the UK government’s update offshore wind generation targets of 50 GW by 2030. In terms of recent HVDC developments, the operational HVDC link (North Sea Link) connecting the UK and Norway to harness both countries’ excess generation, as well as under-construction projects such as the Eastern link with a transmission capacity of 4 GW between England and Scotland with the goal of harnessing Scotland’s offshore resources, have highlighted the potential of HVDC technology to strengthen the region’s energy security. These developments are in line with UK’s government strong intent to accelerate its transition towards renewables after Ukraine – Russia crisis. To date, the UK pipeline expansion in HVDC transmission capacity accounts for 25 GW, with France, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, and other nations in the region contributing a total transmission capacity of about 38 GW by 2030. With the new targets in place, UK will need to expand the HVDC transmission infrastructure in order to successfully shift the UK’s generating mix from conventional to renewables. Talking about the other nations in the North Sea region such as Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and Germany have also set national level targets to boost the share of renewable generation in the coming years. In line with the new established targets for offshore wind uptake in the region, Europe is expected to be the most promising market for HVDC technology in the future years.
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