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island time

The Environment

Belgium is pushing ahead with plans to develop an artificial island off its coast, creating a regional grid connector for offshore wind farms and a future hub for European energy transmission.

Belgian transmission system operator Elia has unveiled the draft plans for what it believes will be the first artificial energy island. (This would put Belgium’s development ahead of a well-publicized Danish plan for a man-made energy island off the coast of Jutland.) Elia’s installation in the North Sea will benefit from a $100 million subsidy under Belgium’s post-COVID-19 recovery plan, pending European Commission approval.

The newly-built Princess Elisabeth Island will be located about 45 kilometers off the Belgian coast, and it will serve as the link between the offshore wind farms in a new offshore wind zone and the onshore high-voltage grid. It will also serve as a central hub for new interconnectors with the United Kingdom and Denmark, facilitating the exchange of electricity between countries. This will be the first building block of a European offshore electricity grid. More here.