National Grid launches Viking Link

National Grid has formally launched Viking Link, a 475 mile-long land and subsea cable connecting British and Danish energy grids for the first time. 

Running from Bicker Fen converter station in Lincolnshire to one in southern Jutland, Denmark, across both land and sea, Viking Link is sharing British and Danish wind power.

Viking Link is National Grid’s sixth interconnector and the UK’s ninth, and is a vital instrument in delivering low cost, low carbon power to UK consumers, helping both power grids to balance the peaks and troughs that come with the growing amount of wind power needed to tackle climate change.

Since it commenced initial operations in December 2023, Viking Link has transported 1,733GWh of power between the two countries – a figure that will only increase over time.  

With UK renewables volumes only set to increase, by the 2030s the UK is anticipated to become a net exporter of power, making Viking Link and other interconnectors even more valuable.

However, the ability to import power when renewable output is low will be even more vital to ensuring consumer demand is met at the most affordable prices possible, National Grid said.

With Viking Link’s launch and the pipeline of interconnector projects including LionLink and Nautilus, National Grid is delivering the infrastructure that will directly enable the deployment of 50GW of offshore wind by 2030, it added.

Group chief executive of National Grid, John Pettigrew said: “In an ever-changing global energy market, the value that connections like Viking Link can provide to national energy security cannot be understated.

“Over its lifespan, this record-breaking connection will deliver over five billion pounds in efficiencies for UK consumers, allow us to trade hundreds of gigawatts in surplus power, and provide an indispensable tool in guaranteeing the continued reliability of our energy system.

“Projects like this are emblematic of the efforts National Grid will make to deliver for customers and climate alike.

“I’m delighted that we have been able to come together with industry leaders and those who collectively spent four million working hours over five years building Viking Link to recognise that.

“Physical connections to other countries are central to the international collaboration which sits at the heart of the energy transition we are undergoing.

“Our existing fleet, Viking Link and our planned Nautilus and LionLink projects will act as the cornerstone for North Sea nations to make the most of up to 300GW of offshore wind generation, delivering low-cost renewable energy to consumers with the least impact on coastal communities.”

Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho added: “At 475 miles long, Viking Link is the world’s longest land and subsea interconnector.

“This incredible feat of engineering will help us achieve net zero while strengthening our shared energy security.

“The record-breaking connection will power up to 2.5 million UK homes with clean energy from a trusted ally, while saving consumers £500m on their energy bills.”

In 2023 National Grid announced joint plans with TenneT for a new 1.8GW interconnector between the UK and The Netherlands, called LionLink.

The link would not only join the two countries but also connect to offshore wind generation.

LionLink would be the second link between the two countries and is expected to be operational in the early 2030s.

National Grid is also working with Elia on a second new link called Nautilus which is in the planning phase with the potential to link the UK with Belgium and offshore wind generation.  

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