The High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea link - with a capacity of 2GW, enough to power over 2m homes - has a total estimated investment of around £2.1bn and will provide essential reinforcements to the GB energy system.
The subsea superhighway of electricity transmission will alleviate existing and future constraints on the electricity transmission network, supporting the growth of new renewable electricity generation and delivering a pathway to net zero emissions.
By enabling the connection of indigenous, low carbon electricity generation, the link will also play a critical role in supporting the UK’s future security of supply, reducing dependence and price exposure to volatile global wholesale gas markets.
Work to progress the initial 2GW link, from Peterhead to Drax in Yorkshire, 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.
This major investment will also support hundreds of green jobs throughout construction and operation and many thousands more throughout the supply chain and wider economy.
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 to demand centres in England. These links are critical to our net zero ambitions, and reducing our dependence on volatile markets by supporting indigenous low carbon electricity generation.”
“With Ofgem providing certainty of delivery, we can now engage with confidence with the supply chain to secure the specialist infrastructure and project delivery partners.
SSEN Transmission is also taking forward plans for a further subsea link from Caithness to Peterhead.