Fine screening of potential Danish sites for offshore wind farms and energy islands just published


In collaboration with Energinet, an independent public enterprise owned by the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy, COWI assisted the Danish Energy Agency in fine screening potential sites for future offshore wind farms and energy islands in Denmark. The screening demonstrates that, within selected areas, it is feasible to establish additional offshore wind farms in Denmark, either as solitary wind farms or farms connected to energy islands in the North Sea and in the vicinity of the island of Bornholm.

The location of new offshore wind farms in Denmark is one step closer to being realised. On behalf of the Danish Energy Agency and in cooperation with Energinet, COWI carried out a fine screening of the optimum sites for Denmark’s new, planned offshore turbines. The screening comprises areas where it's possible to establish the offshore wind farms with a capacity of more than 18 GW.  

Tore Lucht, Project Manager and Head of Section, Wind Energy and Renewables at COWI, explains: 

“The screening looked into the possibilities of establishing solitary offshore wind farms in specific selected areas as well as having several interconnected offshore wind farms connected to the so-called energy islands: Power production hubs between local offshore wind turbines that connect to and distribute power between several countries.“

Based on economic and environmental considerations

For each potential wind farm, COWI studied areas in Nordsøen I (south of the future offshore wind farm Thor), Hesselø and Kriegers Flak II. For the interconnected farms, areas further into the North Sea and in the vicinity of the island of Bornholm were studied.  

Jan Behrendt Ibsø, Vice President, Wind Energy and Renewables at COWI, explains the fine screening:  

"We assessed and compared sites based on both economic and environmental considerations. In terms of economy, we used the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) model to calculate how the site locations would affect the lifecycle costs of the offshore wind farms. We also carried out investigations on the local nature and environment in the areas and studied local planning conditions, and together with StormGeo, we collected and combined big data on the wind conditions at the sites.” 

Offshore wind farms feasible in all the screened areas

Overall, the screening demonstrates that it is possible to establish offshore wind farms in all the screened areas. Consequently, as noted in the report, none of the screened areas are designated unsuitable for establishing offshore wind turbines due to unsuitable sea bed, unfavourable environmental conditions, or coincidence with human interests. It is recommended, though, that a more detailed analysis be carried out at subareas by Bornholm and Kriegers Flak regarding the sensitivity of selected bird species, to determine how they would be affected by offshore wind facilities. Also, at several of the screened areas, cables, pipelines, existing navigation routes etc. must be taken into account.  

Read more about the results of the fine screening at the Danish Energy Agency’s website.

For each area, the fine screening represents an update of and an addition to a corresponding study carried out by COWI for the Danish Energy Agency in 2018.

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COWI employee Søren Kragh Pedersen

Søren Kragh Pedersen
Head of Group PA & PR
Communication, Denmark

Tel: +45 2025 7018