GlobalConnect to run network through Denmark's Energy Island
GlobalConnect has been contracted to connect the North Sea Energy Island, as Denmark looks to create a "cross-border digital hub" that will meet the connectivity needs of large operators, hyperscalers and, by extension, consumers.
The project sees Danish multinational power company Ørsted, along with Denmark's largest institutional investor ATP, contract GlobalConnect to extend its secure and resilient digital backbone, creating a smart island.
Their ambition doesn’t stop at the connectivity hub, the project will also enable the digitalisation of the offshore wind power generation that happens on the island.
Martin Lippert, group CEO of GlobalConnect, said: “The North Sea Energy Island will play a significant part in future-proofing the region while strengthening the Nordic’s position as an attractive hub for transporting data across the world.
"As a provider of cross-border critical digital infrastructure, we are very excited to share the vision with Ørsted and ATP to build a smart energy island with a resilient and secure network that paves the way for the digital future of offshore wind while providing a unique attraction to global tech giants.”
As Ørsted describes it, Denmark's Energy Island is a world first, intended to generate renewable energy "at an unprecedented scale", and deliver on the carbon emission reduction targets of both Denmark and the EU. To put a figure on that unprecedented scale, the Danish Energy Agency said the island will generate 3GW of renewable energy in the first phase, with a long-term expansion potential of 10GW.
The artificial island is constructed by Bouygues Travaux Publics, Aarsleff and Van Oord and serves as the hub in a network consisting of 10 surrounding offshore wind farms, with links to neighbouring countries. There's more on the project, here:
Add GlobalConnect’s network extension and it is hoped that the island will also host data centres as part of the "large-scale investments" the project stakeholders hope to attract.
Additionally, the smart energy island will become a central part in the next phases of the regional offshore wind build-out by enabling autonomous operations and further digitising offshore wind.
The CEO of GlobalConnect Carrier, Regina Donato Dahlström, recently told Capacity that, by 2025, the energy sector “will become part of our business in a different way”.
She added: “There are other big industries in the Nordics where I start to see a tendency for stepping into something similar to a data centre, or fibre infrastructure businesses, power companies obviously being the closest – and they are already in our space.”
How the trend will develop is a case of wait and see. However, Ørsted, ATP and GlobalConnect did say in their press statement that the project will see Denmark "centrally placed to attract investments in two of the most significant long-term growth industries globally: renewable energy and digital infrastructure".
Claus Wiinblad, Senior Vice President at ATP, added: “When embarking on such a significant long-term investment as The North Sea Energy Island, it’s crucial that the dynamics of the concept and construction meet the demands of the future sustainable and digital society.
"We want to create a versatile and flexible energy island that will support the green transition, both now and in the years to come, as well as being a sensible risk-adjusted investment of the Danish pensions. In GlobalConnect we have a resilient partner in digital infrastructure to secure connectivity and growth.”