Ofgem gives provisional approval for Eastern Green Link

Ofgem has given its provisional approval of the first of two subsea links planned connecting Peterhead in the north east of Scotland to demand centres in England. The two links are part of the Eastern Green Link project being developed by SSEN Transmission, part of the SSE Group.

The High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea link - with a capacity of 2 GW - has a total estimated investment of around £2.1 bn and will provide essential reinforcements to the GB energy system. The subsea superhighway of electricity transmission aims to alleviate existing and future constraints on the electricity transmission network.

Work to progress the initial 2GW link, from Peterhead in the north east of Scotland to Drax in Yorkshire in England, will be taken forward as a joint venture between SSEN Transmission and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET).  Early enabling works are expected to commence in summer 2024, with main construction works due to begin in early 2025, with a targeted energisation date of 2029.

Ofgem has also provisionally approved plans for a separate 2GW HVDC subsea link from Torness in south east Scotland to Hawthorn Pit in north east England, which is being taken forward by SP Energy Networks and NGET, with a targeted energisation date of 2027.  Two additional 2 GW subsea HVDC links, from Peterhead to South Humber and from south east Scotland to South Humber, are also planned, with both currently having a targeted energisation of date of 2031.  

Rob McDonald, Managing Director of SSEN Transmission, 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.

“With Ofgem providing much needed certainty of delivery, we can now engage with confidence with the supply chain to secure the specialist HVDC infrastructure and project delivery partners through an open and competitive procurement process.

“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.

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