Viking Link: Powering the Future with the World’s Longest Subsea Interconnector

A New Era in Green Energy: Denmark-UK Connection

The energy landscape has taken a monumental leap forward with the activation of the Viking Link, the world’s longest onshore and subsea interconnector. This groundbreaking achievement marks a significant milestone in the collaboration between the UK and Danish power grids, fostering an era of sustainable energy exchange.

Engineering Marvel and Capacity

Spanning an impressive 765 kilometers (475 miles), Viking Link connects Bicker Fen substation in Lincolnshire, UK, to Revsing substation in southern Jutland, Denmark. This interconnector is not just a triumph of engineering but also a testament to international cooperation in the energy sector. With a substantial capacity of 1.4 gigawatts, Viking Link is poised to facilitate the transfer of enough green electricity to power approximately 2.5 million UK homes. This exchange plays a crucial role in diversifying the energy mix for both nations, contributing significantly to energy security and sustainability.

Katie Jackson, President of National Grid Ventures, lauds this achievement, emphasizing its role in meeting climate and energy security targets. She highlights the importance of wind power and the critical function of international connections in enhancing supply security and lowering consumer costs.

Viking Link’s Impact and Future Prospects

Initially, Viking Link will operate at a reduced capacity of 800MW due to constraints from the Danish System Operator. However, efforts are ongoing to maximize its capability, thanks to the robust partnership between National Grid and Energinet.

Interconnectors like Viking Link are pivotal in the global shift towards renewable energy. They enable the swift and flexible exchange of power, especially from renewable sources like wind, sun, and water. This adaptability is crucial in managing the intermittent nature of such sources. The benefits are manifold – from reducing carbon emissions and enhancing energy security to lowering energy costs.

Viking Link is expected to contribute significantly to carbon emission reduction, with estimates of over 600,000 tonnes in its first year alone. This reduction is equivalent to removing 280,000 cars from the road. Financially, it’s projected to save UK consumers over £500 million in the first decade by importing cheaper energy.

A Collaborative Endeavor and Technical Feat

The construction of Viking Link commenced in 2019 and involved a collaborative effort between the UK and Denmark, focusing on converter sites and cable installations. The UK land cable comprised 118 pieces, stretching 67km from Bicker Fen to Sutton-on-Sea on the Lincolnshire coast.

Key players in the project included Prysmian Group, Balfour Beatty Power, NKT, Monck, and Siemens Energy. The HVDC offshore cable was laid by Prysmian Group using The Leonardo Da Vinci vessel, with cable burying done by Asso trenchers. Converter stations at both ends, built by Siemens Energy (UK) and Energinet (Denmark), ensure the correct power frequency for transmission networks.

Viking Link in Numbers: A Recap

  • 765km (475 miles): Total length, making it the world’s longest interconnector.
  • 2.5 million: Number of UK homes it could power.
  • Over £500 million: Savings for UK consumers in 10 years.
  • 600,000 tonnes: Carbon emissions saved in the first year.
  • 4 million working hours: Time taken to complete the project.

Source and image © National Grid

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