A collection of European energy companies from Denmark, the Netherlands, and Germany have proposed building a huge artificial island on a sandbank in a shallow part of the North Sea some 62 miles east of the English coast.
The island will act as a hub for a vast network of wind turbines and solar arrays and could supply enough electricity for 80 million homes in Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Germany.
The proposed island will be 2.5 square miles and host an airstrip, a harbour, workshop buildings and accommodation. A small permanent team will be based on the island to ensure that equipment is maintained, with lubricants like Mobilith SHC 220 and commonly needed replacement parts being readily available on the island.
Dogger Bank, which will host the island, has relatively shallow waters between 15-36 metres deep and experiences very strong winds. In addition to making the island’s construction cheaper, the shallow depth is mostly within the range of current fixed-bottom wind turbine technology. This will potentially lower the cost of erecting turbines, because wind power so far offshore usually requires floating turbines to be used. A network of undersea electricity cables will then deliver the produced energy to destination countries.
Participating energy companies and other industrial partners are expected to sign an agreement next Thursday, March 23, paving the way to explore the island’s potential further. If construction goes ahead, the island could be completed by 2050 at a cost of just over £1.1bn.