The “world’s longest” onshore and subsea interconnector has officially been switched on, National Grid confirmed last week (29 December).
Connecting the UK and Denmark, the £1.7 billion Viking Link will initially operate at a reduced capacity of 800MW due to system constraints put in place by the Danish System Operator, Energinet. This will gradually be increased to 1.4GW over 2024.
The link stretches for 475 miles under land and sea to join Bicker Fen substation in Lincolnshire with Revsing substation in southern Jutland, Denmark. It is worth noting that this is National Grid’s sixth interconnector and first started development in 2019.
National Grid launched the UK’s first interconnector (IFA) to France in 1986. Since then, it has built five more including a second link with France (IFA2) and further connections with The Netherlands (BritNed), Belgium (Nemo Link) and Norway (North Sea Link).
Viking Link has a converter station on each end of the cable where the power is transformed into the correct frequency before being transported onto each country’s transmission systems. The UK converter station was provided by principal contractor Siemens Energy while Energinet built the Danish converter station.
Siemens Energy designed, installed and commissioned the electrical assets on both sides whilst Prysmian Group manufactured the HVDC land cable which was installed by Balfour Beatty.
Katie Jackson, president of National Grid Ventures, believes that the record-breaking new link will “play a vital role in increasing security of supply and reducing prices for consumers”. Jackson also referenced the further influx of green energy used on the Danish grid as another boost to the UK.
It is worth noting that the UK intends to have at least 18GW of interconnection capacity by 2030. Cornwall Insight believes that by the late 2020s, there could be increased exports to the UK’s neighbour, France.
France is a key neighbour for importing and exporting energy and, due to issues discovered within France’s existing nuclear fleet and its lowest production since 1993, the UK exported vast sums of energy to main the country’s energy demands in 2022.