Prinses Elisabetheiland

A world's first: we build the first artificial energy island

Europe, including Belgium, is fully committed to the transition to a sustainable and modern electricity grid. High voltage grid operator Elia has therefore decided to build an artificial energy island off the Belgian coast: the Princess Elisabeth Island. This hub will bring electricity from Belgium’s wind farms to the mainland, and the island will serve as a hub for connections to foreign high-voltage grids. The ecology around the island will also be taken into account. As part of TM Edison, Jan De Nul Group is helping to build this innovative project.
The island connects high-voltage grids and wind farms

The world’s first artificial energy island has been given a place in the Princess Elisabeth Zone, Belgium’s second wind zone in the North Sea. This wind zone, once all wind farms are in service, will have a capacity of 3.5 GW. Via undersea cables, the green electricity is collected on the island, where transformers convert the energy so that it can be transmitted to the high-voltage grid on the mainland.

Connections to the UK (Nautilus link) and Denmark (Triton link) ensure that unused energy can continue to flow and the high-volt age grid does not become overloaded.

As such, the island is part of the European climate and energy goals to realise more than 100 GW of offshore energy capacity by 2030 and to facilitate energy sharing between countries.

Jan De Nul Group helps to build the island 

Building the island requires both offshore, dredging and construction works. Our dredgers pave the seabed and rock instal lation vessels create a stable rock bottom on which the concrete elements will be placed. At the same time, our colleagues in the construction department set to work prefabricating caissons on land.

As many as 23 concrete blocks, so-called caissons, with a height of 27 metres will form the outer ring of the island, which has an above-water area of over 14 acres. 10-metre high storm walls on top of the caissons will protect the infrastructure from the harshest possible North Sea conditions.

For this feat, we are currently building the caissons in the port of Vlissingen in five successive stages: base plate, walls, connections for cables, roof plate and finally storm walls. We then sink the caissons and prepare them for transport via the Western Scheldt to their place in the North Sea. By the summer of 2026, the island will be ready for the installation of electrical infrastructure.