National Grid's groundbreaking Viking Link electricity interconnector, spanning 475 miles, commenced operations today, linking the UK and Denmark in a monumental energy collaboration. Developed at a cost of £1.7bn, this joint venture between National Grid and Energinet holds the capacity to transmit electricity for approximately 2.5 million UK households, promising over £500 million in cumulative savings for UK consumers over the next decade.
Construction of the Viking Link project, National Grid's sixth interconnector, commenced in 2019, involving more than four million working hours. National Grid Ventures (NGV), overseeing the interconnector business, operates independently of the company's core regulated activities in the UK and US, focusing on advancing clean energy projects and technologies.
Initially operating at 800MW, Viking Link is poised to increase its capacity gradually to 1.4GW. Collaboratively, National Grid and Energinet plan to bring the interconnector to its full capacity within the upcoming year, marking a significant milestone in the collaboration between the UK and Denmark.
In its inaugural year, Viking Link is expected to reduce carbon emissions by approximately 600,000 tonnes, equivalent to removing roughly 280,000 cars from the road. The converter stations at each end of the cable, designed and built by Siemens Energy and Energinet, facilitate the transformation of power into the correct frequency before integration into each country's transmission systems.
Rebecca Sedler, Managing Director of National Grid Interconnectors, acknowledged the collaborative effort and dedication involved in bringing Viking Link to fruition, emphasizing its role in the UK's clean energy transition.
Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho lauded the project's significance, highlighting its potential to provide cleaner, more secure energy to millions of UK homes while delivering substantial cost savings. Looking ahead, National Grid has joint plans with TenneT for a new 1.8GW interconnector named LionLink, connecting the UK and the Netherlands, with operational expectations in the early 2030s. Additionally, the planning phase for another interconnector, Nautilus, is underway, holding the potential to link with Belgium.