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The EU-funded Horizon2020 project ‘Progress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks’ (PROMOTioN) presented its research results. The project has demonstrated that the necessary technologies for a meshed HVDC offshore wind transmission network are ready for use, but that political will and more European cooperation are needed to develop the regulatory and technical frameworks necessary to implement them.
As a first step, real full-scale cross-border pilot projects at sea should be launched to gain practical experience and demonstrate the real-life benefits of multi-terminal grid development. In parallel, work on developing a uniform grid code and operation guidelines should be initiated.
The project results show especially that:
  • Hardware based technologies such as HVDC circuit breakers and HVDC gas insulated substations are ready for use and can be manufactured industrially immediately
  • Software based technologies such as HVDC system control and HVDC system protection have been proven to work and to be interoperable, and are considered ready for a real world pilot
  • Further research is outlined to improve performance and whole system integration
  • The next step is to develop full-scale pilot projects at sea. Such a development would accelerate the much needed uniform DC grid code and specify system operation guidelines, agreement on high level technical system characteristics (such as operational configurations, voltage levels, system earthing, and converter configurations)
  • Clear support and affirmation from politicians regarding the regulation and market models of the meshed grid and more cooperation at a European political level as well as at the level of network operators is absolutely necessary
  • UK and Norway ideally should be included in the development of joint offshore wind transmission grids in the North Sea and Irish Sea.
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