UK government electricity and gas regulator Ofgem has given provisional approval for the first of two subsea power lines planned to connect Peterhead in the northeast of Scotland to areas of demand in England.
SSEN Transmission welcomed the approval for its High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea link, which will have a capacity of 2GW – enough to power more than two million homes.
The project has a total estimated investment of around £2.1bn.
SSEN said that the ‘subsea superhighway of electricity transmission’ will alleviate existing and future constraints on the electricity transmission network, supporting the growth of new renewable electricity generation and delivering a pathway to net zero emissions.
Work to progress the initial 2GW link, from Peterhead to Drax in Yorkshire, will be taken forward as a joint venture between SSEN Transmission and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET).
Enabling works are expected to begin in summer 2024, with main construction works due to begin in early 2025. The target date for completion is 2029.
Rob McDonald, SSEN Transmission managing director, said: “We welcome Ofgem’s timely decision to provisionally approve the first of two subsea links planned to connect Peterhead in Scotland to demand centres in England.
“These links are critical to our net zero ambitions, delivering UK and Scottish Government renewable targets and reducing our dependence on volatile wholesale gas markets by supporting indigenous low carbon electricity generation.
“We now look forward to working with Ofgem, government and wider stakeholders to accelerate the necessary investments in strategic grid reinforcements required to support our future energy needs.”
SSEN Transmission is also taking forward plans for a further subsea HVDC link from Spittal in Caithness to Peterhead, alongside key onshore reinforcements from Beauly near Inverness to Peterhead; and from Beauly to Caithness.
SSEN said that, collectively, these additional reinforcements are key to unlocking the first phase of ScotWind and wider renewable energy developments planned across the country.
Image credit: Vismar UK/Shutterstock
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