UK - Denmark electricity sharing 'Viking Link' given the go-ahead

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 10 Jan 2019

‚ÄčThe installation of a huge high voltage electricity interconnector cable between the UK and Denmark has been given the green light from the government.

Known as the Viking Link, it is a 760-mile long cable running from the Lincolnshire coast to Denmark, uniting UK offshore wind with the sector’s pioneering nation.

It will include about 40 miles of underground cables before it reaches landfall, running between Bicker Fen near Boston - where Grimsby’s latest offshore wind farm Triton Knoll will also feed in to - and a substation in Southern Jutland, Denmark.

The £1.8 billion project hits UK landfall between Sandilands and Anderby Creek.

Plans were laid out by the National Grid in collaboration with Danish energy giant Enirginet, and both have now signed a joint ownership and operational agreement to take it forward.

It should be commissioned by 2023, and is seen as a key piece of infrastructure in ensuring security and diversity of supply as renewable reliance ramps up.

Read more: Round Four offshore wind sites favour locations off the Humber

The sign-off comes after consent was achieved, despite an initial rejection by East Lindsey District Council in May. Fears about impacts on the Lincolnshire Wolds were initially voiced, but the council then withdrew its opposition after Viking Link submitted an appeal, which succeeded. 

The council’s planning inspector, John Felgate, decided in favour of the 1,400MW capacity project following a hearing held in November, and it has now been ratified by Government.

Mr Felgate said in his decision report that the link would be of “substantial benefit” to the UK’s energy supply and meet “essential national need” for electricity.

The Viking Link team, featuring representatives from National Grid and Enirginet, front row, from left, Henrik Riis, Andrew McIntosh, Søren Damsgaard Mikkelsen. Middle row, Terry McCormick, Charlotte Lund, Zoe Morrissey and Zac Richardson. Back row, Klaus Storgaard, Jon Butterworth, Torben Glar Nielsen and Henrik Farmann.

A spokesperson for National Grid Viking Link said: “We welcome the decision by the Planning Inspectorate to allow the appeal and grant planning permission for Viking Link subject to conditions.

“The electricity interconnector will increase Great Britain’s electricity capacity and play an important role in helping to reduce the cost of electricity for homes and businesses.

“This will provide opportunities for shared use of renewable sources of generation and improve security of energy supplies.”

Triton Knoll, which has a 900MW installed capacity, is currently installing its onshore electrical system, on a similar but not identical route.

Denmark is the pioneer of offshore wind, with Orsted leading the world in generation, from a UK base with activity centred on farms off the Humber, and clustered in Grimsby, capitalising on conditions in the southern North Sea. MHI Vestas, another Danish firm, is behind the turbines to be used on Triton Knoll.

The team said that over the coming months, Viking Link will be busy working with interested parties to progress land agreements in England and Denmark. A competitive procurement process for the construction of the link is well underway, with contracts scheduled to be awarded in the spring.

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