Energy island must store electricity produced by wind farms

18th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

“Federal minister for the North Sea Johan Vande Lanotte SP.A has demarcated a zone for the building of a donut-shaped artificial off shore island 10metres above sea level 3 kilometres off the Wenduine coast that will serve as energy atoll. An installation is being planned on the island to store surplus energy from wind farms at sea and serve as a hydroelectric plant at the same time. The atoll will basically work as follows: When there is a surplus of cheap energy, water can be pumped from a deeper well in the atoll by means of the surplus current generated by the wind turbines. When current consumption is at a peak at other times, the water flows back inside, past electricity-producing water generators. According to Vande Lanotte’s estimates, the installation will be capable of producing about 300 megawatt twice a day. The go-ahead for the project, which will take at least five years to complete, will depend on its profitability. Vande Lanotte has said that wind energy concerns like Otary, dredgers like Deme and De Nul, and investment companies collaborating on wind farms in the North Sea have been the inspiration behind the energy island. Stakeholders in these circles however are reserved in their comments. “It seems to us to be more like one of Vande Lanotte’s tentative suggestions to provoke reactions, there is no such a thing as a concrete project,” those in the know are saying. If it should all go ahead, however, this will be a historical moment for Belgium as the first ever builder of a hydroelectric plant at sea. Meanwhile a much smaller, but nevertheless ambitious island is in the pipeline. Commissioned by current transmitter Elia, the consortium Plug at Sea is building a small island with a single plug for seven wind farms at sea. A single cable will transport the  current generated by seven wind farms that is collected on this island.”

0 Comments To This Article