Due to the variable nature of renewable energy resources and power demand by consumers, it is difficult to operate a power system installed with only one type of renewable energy resource. Grid-based renewable generation may be the only solution to overcome this problem. The conventional approach based on a low-voltage converter with power frequency transformer is commonly employed for grid connection of offshore renewable energy systems. Because of the heavy weight and large size of the transformer, the system can be expensive and complex in terms of installation and maintenance. In this paper, an 11-kV series connected H-bridge (SCHB) multilevel voltage source converter (VSC) is proposed to achieve a compact and light direct grid connection of renewable energy systems. This paper presents the design, simulation and analysis of a five level (5L)-SCHB and an eleven level (11L)-SCHB VSC for 11-kV grid-based renewable energy systems. The performance, cost, modulation scheme and harmonic spectra of the converter are analyzed.