Increasing the array voltage is fundamental to unlocking the dramatic cost savings that the next generation of turbines will deliver. Throughout 2021 and 2022, the Offshore Wind Accelerator High Voltage Array Systems (OWA Hi-VAS) project has been working to build industry consensus on what the next array voltage level should be and the timing for making the transition to the next array voltage level.
In June 2022, the project published its findings. As detailed in the published report, the project found that 132 kV is the optimal next array operating voltage (145 kV Umax). The study also highlighted the urgency with which the industry must make this transition, as the late-2020s is the earliest that 132 kV wind farms could be operational, even with immediate proactive work from developers and the supply chain.
Further work has taken place, which has built further consensus between OWA developers and cable suppliers on 132 kV array cable requirements and improved understanding of the supply chain’s development plans for 132 kV cables. The outcomes of this were published in March 2023.
The Hi-VAS project is continuing to accelerate and de-risk the transition to 132 kV by taking steps to build understanding and industry consensus on the qualification tests for 132 kV wet array cables. The project builds on the success of the Offshore Wind Accelerator’s previous work in raising the array voltage from 33 kV to 66 kV, where similar industry consensus was reached.
Project end date
March 2023 (Phase 1)
March 2025 (Phase 2)
The Carbon Trust
EnBW, Equinor, Ocean Winds, Ørsted, RWE, ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, TotalEnergies, Vattenfall
Robert Keast, Project Manager