Construction has begun on what will become the world’s longest underwater electricity interconnector that will connect the UK and Danish networks, both of which are increasingly dominated by renewable energy.
760km Viking Link Interconnector Project will enable more efficient and effective use of renewable energy, access to sustainable electricity generation, and increased security of electricity supply, supporters said.
Set to connect the Revsing substation in southern Jutland, Denmark, and Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, England, the Viking Link is being developed by National Grid and Denmark’s own transmission system operator, Energinet.
The interconnector along the 760 km will include the longest underwater power cable in the world, the direct current high voltage (HVDC) of 625 km with a capacity of 1.4GW.
Siemens Energy was appointed to build British and Danish converter stations at both ends of the interconnector link, with UK work beginning in July to build new access roads to the site.
“We have completed preliminary work with archeological and ecological surveys and water works, but this is a major construction milestone for this project,” said Mike Elmer, Director of the Viking Link Project for National Grid Ventures.
“Viking Link will play an important role in helping to deconbite the British power supply on the journey to a clean zero carbon energy system. This will allow access to more environmentally friendly electricity supplies, which will make energy safer and more affordable for consumers. “
“This major construction project will put Lincolnshire at the heart of our economic recovery,” said Kwasi Kwarteng, UK’s Minister of Energy and Clean Growth. “This scheme will not only create local green collar jobs throughout the region, but will also increase our energy security, reduce bills for consumers, and give renewable generators planted in the country a greater opportunity to export zero-carbon electricity worldwide. “
At present, completion of the entire project is expected for December 2023, and a € 2 billion submarine power cable will have the capacity to be able to supply renewable energy to supply one and a half million homes in the UK. This is part of a larger UK effort to become net-zero by 2050 – the target set by the country in June 2019, to first big economy to issue strict zero emission laws.
However, by 2030, National Grid expects that 90% of electricity imported through the National Grid interconnector will come from zero-carbon sources, which further enables the UK zero emission target.
At present, Britain is receiving electricity through three separate interconnectors: BritNed, a connection between Britain and the Netherlands that has been operating since 2011; IFA, the first link connecting Britain and France and which has been operating since 1986, and NEMO Link, connecting Britain with Belgium and which have been operating since 2019.
In addition to the Viking Link, two other interconnectors are also being built: IFA2, the second link to France which is expected to operate some time this year; and North Sea Link, which will link Britain with Norway and which are expected to begin operations in 2021.
Two British interconnectors are also under development: the Nautilus 1.4GW Interconnector planned to connect the UK and Belgium; and the proposed EuroLink 1.4GW, which will add another connection between Britain and the Netherlands.
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