The largest of its kind: 2 gigawatts in the North Sea

Visualisation 2GW Platform

Iv-Offshore & Energy is designing the 2 gigawatt (GW) IJmuiden Ver Beta platform in the North Sea. This platform is the first in a series of 2GW platforms that Iv will design for the GE-Seatrium (GSC) consortium for TenneT. Iv recently signed a contract with Seatrium, the party with which Iv is also currently working on the Sofia platform, among other projects.

 

Iv is responsible for the detailed engineering of the offshore converter platform for both the topside and jacket and for supplying 50% of the equipment and auxiliary systems.

 

New standard 


Two gigawatts: It is the largest platform of its kind today, and as such, the engineering thereof represents an extraordinary and significant step in the offshore energy transition. It will provide enough energy to power around two million homes. The IJmuiden Ver Beta platform will be built approximately 62 kilometres off the coast of IJmuiden. With a capacity of 2 GW, the platform will set a new standard within the energy transition and in the reduction of fossil fuel use.

 

For Iv, the design of this HVDC (Direct Current) platform is truly unique. Both in terms of capacity and in that IJmuiden Ver will significantly contribute to achieving the Netherlands’ green energy targets. The national government has set a target of generating around 21 GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. This represents around 75 percent of the total electricity demand. The Netherlands currently has a capacity of approximately 5 GW of offshore wind. The series of 2GW platforms that TenneT will soon put into operation will significantly contribute to this target.

The transition to clean energy in Europe is an enormous challenge. Europe has set itself the goal of becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Network operators will provide many more network connections in the period leading up to 2030, not only in the Netherlands but also in Germany.

Direct current


Iv has been working for some time on the design of the 2GW platform for TenneT. The platform will convert 66 kV alternating current into 525 kV direct current, ensuring that energy losses are minimised. As IJmuiden Ver Beta is the first in a series of platforms, its design immediately sets the standard for subsequent platforms in the GE-Seatrium and Iv portfolio. All will have a capacity of two gigawatts and form part of TenneT’s ‘2GW program’.

 

Kunal Chopra is Iv’s overall project manager. Nearly a hundred Iv employees are currently working on the project every day, and there will be even more by next spring. “This is the biggest platform we have ever worked on. It really is a unique project,” says Kunal. “It’s fantastic to be part of it.”

It goes without saying that Iv is no stranger to designing offshore transformer platforms, but this one is different. The capacity, and therefore the weight, of almost 30,000 tonnes makes both the construction and installation an extraordinary operation.

 

‘Standardised design’

The design process is also unique and complex. TenneT works with a  ‘standardised design’ approach across the 14 projects awardes to the various consortiums. This means that the design of the IJmuiden Ver Beta platform forms the standard for subsequent platforms.  Anything that changes in the engineering has to be incorporated into the designs of the other thirteen platforms. Other engineering companies are also working on the 2GW platforms for TenneT, so there is a lot of cross-over communication via TenneT. Kunal: “This is extremely challenging. It means we are not only working on this platform but also indirectly on the other thirteen. Every adjustment we make is shared with the other parties and vice versa. This coordination is crucial.”

 

Broadening the horizon


As previously mentioned, 2GW sets a new standard for offshore energy development. It is a level of power that seemed impossible a few decades ago because the associated wind turbines back then would never have been able to generate that much energy. Yet it is happening now. Previous platforms Iv has worked on include Borssele Alpha (700 MW/HVAC) and Dolwin Alpha (800 MW/HVDC). Current projects such as Thor (1,060 MW/HVAC) and Sofia (1,320 MW/HVDC) are already significantly increasing capacity. IJmuiden Ver represents a clear and rapid development in offshore wind energy.

Kunal is proud that Iv-Offshore & Energy can enhance its track record further. Especially with a project like this. “The fact that we are working on this as a Dutch engineering company means that we, as Iv, can really claim a unique position in the world.”

 

Schedule


According to the schedule, the design of the IJmuiden Ver Beta platform will be completed in January 2026. At the moment, about a quarter of the work has been completed. All disciplines have now begun: process, mechanical, structural (topside and jacket), layout, electrical, instrumentation, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), piping, technical safety and RAMS (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety). “As a Project Manager, I have to liaise with many different people and disciplines,” Kunal continues. “It’s a lot of fun and will certainly put Iv on the map.”

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Fedor van Veen