RWE Offshore Wind and Smart Wires Sign MoU to Collaborate on Offshore Wind Connections

RWE Offshore Wind and Smart Wires Sign MoU to Collaborate on Offshore Wind Connections

RWE Offshore wind (RWE), a global leading player in offshore wind, and Smart Wires, global grid enhancing technologies and services provider, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate on investigating the use of advanced power flow control technology, SmartValve™, on long High Voltage Alternating Current and Direct Current (HVAC or HVDC) cable circuits to support offshore generation connections. The investigation will focus on acceleration and minimization of the need for additional onshore and offshore grid infrastructure.


Renewable energy generation projects often need significant grid upgrades or new infrastructure before they can be connected, in order to reliably transport the electricity from the generation site to demand centers. Such grid projects involve high capital costs, take many years to permit and build, and have a high risk of significant delays and cost overruns. These challenges are further heightened for offshore generation connections that must be seamlessly integrated with the onshore meshed transmission network and often require new offshore grid to be built.

Grid enhancing technologies such as Smart Wires’ advanced power flow control—SmartValve™—provide the potential to quickly and cost-effectively increase transmission capacity, improve stability margins and reduce lead times for some key equipment both onshore and offshore. In addition to unlocking capacity by redirecting power flows to push power off overloaded circuits or pulling power onto underutilized circuits, the investigation will also focus on the capability of SmartValve™ for offshore cable management and power regulation.

RWE and Smart Wires have entered into a MOU to explore the potential use of SmartValve within RWE’s offshore wind development projects. This will enable the companies to work together to investigate the capabilities of advanced power flow control technology to support integration of offshore wind generation using either AC or DC technology.

Dirk Döring, Chief Engineer Electrical Control & Instrumentation at RWE Offshore Wind said: “RWE is engaged in the development, design and construction of large and complex offshore wind farms and transmission infrastructure and the use of innovative technologies, such as advanced power flow control, has the potential to offer significant benefits. Therefore, we are happy to join with Smart Wires to explore the use of their SmartValve technology in real life development applications.”

“We’re delighted to collaborate with leading renewable developers like RWE who are committed to finding ways to quickly and cost-effectively connect offshore wind,” said Mark Norton, VP Business Development at Smart Wires. “It’s exciting to kick off this work which will demonstrate the unique capabilities of APFC technology to make the connection of offshore grids more timely, efficient and reduce the offshore infrastructure needed. We look forward to this work driving many successful projects that use APFC technology in this new application area,” he said.

SmartValves are deployed by leading utilities in Europe, the US, Latin America, and Australia, delivering over 3.5 GWs of extra capacity and over one billion in cost savings to customers. SmartValve™ is a patented, single-phase modular Static Synchronous Series Compensator (SSSC) that injects a voltage in quadrature with the line current to synthesize a capacitive or inductive reactance, meaning it can push power off overloaded lines or pull power onto underutilized. It also provides a range of dynamic services including improving voltage stability and transient stability, which deliver additional benefits to the grid operator.

RWE is one of the world’s largest offshore wind companies with a more than 20-years track record of developing, building, and operating offshore wind projects efficiently. The company currently operates 19 offshore wind farms. Two wind farms are currently under construction in Europe and further offshore projects are under development worldwide. RWE plans to grow its global offshore wind capacity from 3.3 GW today to 10 GW in 2030.


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