Building work has started on what will become the longest interconnector of electricity in the world, and will allow renewable energy travel between the UK and Denmark.
According to the National Grid, the £1.8bn Viking Link interconnector network is a high-voltage direct-current cable that will connect the two nations, and marks a “major milestone” in British attempts to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The plant, expected to be finished in 2023, will extend cables between Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, England and Revsing in South Jutland, Denmark, 475 miles (765 km) below ground.
This is a joint initiative between the National Grid of Britain and the owner and operator of the Danish power grid, Energinet.
Denmark has considerable wind energy capacity, so the plan suggests Danish wind turbines will eventually fuel one and a half million UK houses. The network would allow the UK to export oil, too.
Siemens Energy was assigned to construct transformer stations in the UK and Denmark on both ends of the interconnector connection. Project research has already started to construct a one and a half mile access road for the Bicker Fen location.
Mike Elmer, the Viking Link project director for National Grid Ventures said: “We’ve already completed the initial groundwork with archaeological and ecological surveys as well as water works studies, however this is a key construction milestone for the project.
“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.”
UK minister for energy and clean growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “This major construction project will put Lincolnshire firmly at the heart of our economic recovery. 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.”
Matt Warman, Conservative MP for Boston & Skegness in Lincolnshire, said: “Reducing carbon emissions is one of the biggest challenges facing our world, and interconnectors play a critical role in the UK’s transition to clean energy resources. It is great to hear that this project will create employment opportunities to the local community and look to procure products and services from local companies throughout the project.”
By 2030, 90 per cent of energy supplied via the interconnectors of National Grid will come from zero carbon sources, the organization said in a statement.