Engineering giant Alstom has won a €1bn contract to connect North Sea wind farms to the German electricity grid.
The UK element of the €1bn deal will be around £125m and the French firm said dozens of new design and engineering posts will be created at its site in Stafford.
The DolWin3 offshore project, from European cross-border transmission grid operator TenneT, involves connecting around 200 turbines in five wind farms to the onshore grid in Germany via a 51-mile sea cable using direct current technology.
From the coast, the wind power will then be transported a further 49 miles via an underground cable to a converter station in Lower Saxony.
"With this project, we help to take the energy turnaround another step forward and make it possible for offshore wind energy to make an important contribution to our future energy supplies", said Lex Hartman, member of the board of TenneT.
"With DolWin3 included, we will be able to supply a total of more than 6,000MW of clean energy from the North Sea and we will be investing more than €7bn in the energy turnaround."
The DolWin3 project, due to be completed in 2017, will be the third grid connection in the DolWin wind farm cluster in the south-western region of the North Sea and will offer a capacity of 900MW.
Alf Henryk Wulf, CEO of Alstom Germany, said: “One of the main challenges for the future of energy grids is to transport electricity from offshore wind turbines to the onshore grid with as few losses as possible. With DolWin3, we strengthen our position as a key partner in the German energy turnaround.”
As the general contractor for TenneT, Alstom will supply and construct both the onshore and offshore converter stations as well as the connecting cable systems for DolWin3.
Together with the turnkey contract, Alstom has been awarded a five-year service contract covering the complete offshore converter station and platform, as well as the onshore converter system.
The contract includes inspection, preventive and corrective maintenance, refurbishment and repair, spare parts management and a technology support line and the firm has announced they will be working with platform constructor Nordic Yards and cable supplier Prysmian.
Grégoire Poux-Guillaume, president of Alstom Grid, said: “For DolWin3, TenneT will benefit from Alstom’s advanced technology. As market leader for offshore AC substations and onshore high-voltage DC (HVDC), we are well positioned to enter the German offshore HVDC market as a new competitor.
“The collaboration with Nordic Yards and Prysmian, who both have outstanding references, is key to delivering this turnkey contract.”