The EU’s PROMOTioN (PROgress on Meshed HVDC Offshore Transmission Networks) project aims to explore key technologies for connecting offshore wind farms to land. This is a hugely significant effort that requires highly effective project coordination. Managing 34 partners in 11 countries and ensuring all parties achieve their own objectives while still working towards a common goal in a rapidly changing industry is no small task.
DNV GL initially became involved with the PROMOTioN project to develop and perform the testing of DC circuit breaker concepts and products. This was a major challenge as no commercially available DC circuit breakers existed at the start of the project.
“DNV GL’s KEMA Laboratories is one of the few facilities worldwide able to carry out full power tests on this emerging class of grid component (DC circuit breakers). They also possess the practical experience needed to design these new testing solutions and manage the risks at the extremely high power levels involved,” says Professor Dragan Jovcic, Director of the University of Aberdeen's HVDC Research Centre.
However, given the scale and diversity of the consortium, it became clear that a partner with a unique perspective, skillset and position in the market was needed to coordinate the project. And, at the request of ENTSO-E, DNV GL took on the project coordinator role as well.
To manage everyone’s efforts effectively, we ensured teams from all 34 partners – including universities, grid operators, consultants and manufacturers – talked to each other. We also worked continuously to keep the consortium members focused on delivering common goals, for example balancing industry’s and society’s needs for interoperability with the members’ commercial interests.
Our independence, objectivity and understanding of each partner’s point-of-view helped us align their individual requirements and leverage them towards the project’s goal. “Considering the number and range of PROMOTioN partners, DNV GL did an excellent job keeping everyone motivated and on track,” says Samuel Nguefeu, Project Manager at RTE France. “They made sure everyone contributed in the best way and streamlined operations.”