Grid operator Elia presented the plans for the world’s first artificial energy island this afternoon in Ostend. Princess Elisabeth Island will be installed 45 km from the Belgian coast.
This is Princess Elisabeth Island, a series of concrete caissons surrounding 5 hectares of sand.
An artificial island that will serve as a giant power strip. It will centralize and transform the electricity produced by the new Belgian wind farm installed in the North Sea. “This island will replace several much-needed platforms to accommodate the energy that comes from the wind turbines and to carry it to the Coast”says Chris Peeters, boss of Elia, manager of the electricity network in Belgium.
The island will also be connected to the UK and Danish grid. A strategic node whose construction should cost 2 billion euros. “We made the comparisons. And it turned out that the island from a technical, economic and environmental point of view has a lot of advantages”assures Markus Berger, investment manager at Elia.
Drones and cameras?
The Ministers for Energy and the North Sea visited the big sister of the Princess Elisabeth Island. This platform carries the electricity produced by the wind turbines already installed in the North Sea. The infrastructure is strategic and extremely secure.
“We are thinking of the use of drones and cameras. The defense is present in our North Sea. The police are carrying out checks. But we are well aware that this island must be secured”, emphasizes Vincent Van Quickenborne. The island and the future Princess Elisabeth wind farm are located 45 km from the coast, on the edge of a protected area. Their impact on the environment is currently being studied. Construction is not expected to begin before 2026.