Energinet establishes 3,300 km of electricity connections – and much more is on the way
A highly accelerated transition to green energy is creating great changes in the Danish electricity grid. Energinet will invest DKK 41 billion in the electricity transmission system between 2023 and 2026. 100 new expansions are in the pipeline and will likely be followed by a further 100 expansions of the electricity transmission grid.
Throughout Denmark, Energinet is currently expanding and strengthening the Danish electricity transmission grid with a total of 3,300 km of underground cables or overhead lines.
Cranes and excavators are either already in the field or will be as soon as the projects have been planned and approved. Energinet is also expanding 70 high-voltage substations, readying them to receive much more green power from wind turbines and solar cells.
Left-hand map: The electricity transmission grid will be reinforced with cables and overhead lines – excavators and cranes are either already or will soon be in operation. Right-hand map: Approx. 70 high-voltage substations are either being expanded or constructed from scratch, ensuring they are ready to receive a much higher volume of green power from sources such as wind turbines and solar cells. Collection stations will also be established in connection with future offshore wind farms.
Working hard in the field and at the office
But this is just the first of many steps towards a completely green electricity system.
“We’re not only working hard in the field, we’re also working hard at our offices, because we will need to build even more than we do now in the coming years,” says Henrik Riis, CEO of Energinet Electricity Transmission.
By 2030, Denmark must quadruple its power generation from wind turbines and solar cells. In just seven to eight years, four times the current amount of wind and solar power, which it has taken 40 years to establish, will need to be connected to the electricity grid. In addition to the massive expansion of onshore wind turbines and especially onshore solar cell farms, the electricity grid must also be prepared for several large new offshore wind farms.
Energinet is therefore currently planning around 100 new major expansion and reinvestment projects, and another approximately 100 large-scale projects may potentially follow.
From 2023 to 2026, Energinet will invest a total of DKK 41 billion in expanding and future-proofing the Danish electricity grid.
From Lolland to Zealand
Among the many areas seeing major changes are Lolland-Falster and Southern Zealand, where the electricity grid is being cabled and expanded from south to north. Energinet is examining how the overall electricity grid can be future-proofed, and a number of part sections are also being cabled and reinforced. This involves laying new cables for transporting the green electricity of Lolland: Nakskov-Rødby, Rødby-Nørre Radsted, Radsted-Orehoved, crossing of the Storstrømmen Sound, Orehoved-Vordingborg, Vordingborg-Haslev-Spanager, Køge-Roskilde.
From small-scale imports to large-scale exports
Historically, Lolland-Falster is an area that has often relied on external supply of energy and has had a relatively small electricity consumption, seen from an overall perspective. In just a few years, this situation has been turned upside down – Lolland-Falster’s electricity generation will greatly exceed the local consumption. In future, electricity from Lolland and Falster will help secure the power supply in the Greater Copenhagen area and in Northern Zealand.
Concurrently with increased electricity generation from wind turbines and solar cells, there will be a need to transform the electricity grid completely. Many decades ago, the transmission grid was designed with a few large power stations located near the big cities and consumption centres, from where power was supplied to all parts of Denmark.
The more sparsely populated an area was, the smaller the consumption and the thinner the power lines became.
Sharp increase in power generation in areas with low consumption
But already today, power is often supplied from places with a local consumption too small for large volumes of generated electricity or an electricity grid that can transmit large volumes of electricity from wind turbines or solar cells.
And power generation in these areas will see a sharp increase in the coming years.
Henrik Riis expects that this year, in 2023, Energinet will end up approving twice as many expansions of the electricity transmission grid for connection of new electricity generation or new large-scale consumption compared to the previous year. In 2022, the number of approved connection projects was 21. In 2021, the number was 4.
On Lolland, Energinet is involved in several projects, including the construction of a new high-voltage substation that will supply the coming Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link with power.