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UK and Denmark to share renewable electricity through 765km interconnector

Image credit: Dreamstime

Construction has started on the world’s longest electricity interconnector, which will allow the UK and Denmark to share power and help lower carbon emissions.

Work started on the UK side of the project this month, with the intention to open the converter station in 2023.

The £1.8bn Viking Link project is a joint venture between the National Grid and the Danish electricity system owner and operator, Energinet.

The 1.4GW high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) electricity interconnector will be the longest in the world when completed. It will stretch 765km subsea and onshore between Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire and Revsing in South Jutland to enable clean energy sharing.

Initial groundwork has been completed with archaeological and ecological surveys, but the start of work on the road is a major milestone for the project, National Grid said.

Such projects are becoming increasingly popular as a way to balance the sometimes erratic generation of renewable energy, which can be dependent on factors such as the weather. In 2018, a similar project linking the energy systems of Belgium and the UK was opened, costing £600m and stretching approximately 140km.

Mike Elmer, Viking Link project director for National Grid Ventures, which will own and operate the link, said: “Viking Link will play a vital role in helping to decarbonise the UK’s power supply on the journey to a net-zero carbon energy system. It will enable access to a cleaner, greener supply of electricity, which will make energy more secure and affordable for consumers.”

Energy minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Not only will this scheme create local green-collar jobs across the county, but it will also bolster our energy security, reduce bills for consumers, and give our home-grown renewable generators a greater chance to export zero-carbon electricity around the world.”

Once completed, the interconnector will have the capacity to supply renewable energy to power one and a half million UK homes.

It is hoped that 90 per cent of electricity imported via National Grid’s interconnectors will be from zero-carbon sources by 2030.

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