Planning consent has been granted for a new subsea electricity superhighway that will boost grid connection between Scotland and England.
All relevant authorities have now signed off on Eastern Green Link 2 (EGL2), a 525kV, 2 gigawatt (GW) high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable.
It will run from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire to Drax in England – with 273 miles of subsea cables and 43 miles of underground cables – and is being delivered as a joint venture between National Grid and SSEN Transmission.
Approval has been given by three local planning authorities for all the onshore and offshore elements of the project, including new converter stations and cables.
Marine Management Organisation in England and Marine Scotland have sanctioned the proposals, meaning it’s now up to regulator Ofgem to give the green light.
EGL2 will be the longest HVDC cable in the UK – providing enough capacity to power more than two million homes.
Construction on the project is expected to begin in 2024, with a targeted operational date of 2029.
It is seen as is essential to meeting the UK’s net zero commitments and delivering a cleaner, greener and more secure energy future.
Once complete, EGL2 will run from a new converter station and landfall point at Sandford Bay, Peterhead, under the North Sea, to Fraisthorpe, on the East Yorkshire coast.
Once onshore in England, it will run underground to a new converter station next to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.
Japan’s Hitachi Energy has been selected as the preferred tech provider for the two converter stations.
Planning permission in principle was granted by Aberdeenshire Council in May last year for the HVDC converter station, and on February 3 for a pylon compound joining the high-voltage underground cable to the overhead line.
The final piece of the puzzle – consent for a new converter station and section of underground cable from North Yorkshire Council – was secured on August 11.
Sarah Sale, EGL2 deputy project director, said: “We are delighted that our plans for the onshore and offshore elements of our project have been approved by all local planning authorities and marine licencing organisations. What was particularly pleasing to hear, was the support for the project and its purpose from a number of those planning authorities.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has worked alongside us to reach this key milestone, particularly those who have come forward and shared their views. We will continue to work with the local community and keep them updated as the project develops, and moves into construction, and would like to thank them in advance for hosting such an important project.
“This renewable electricity superhighway is vital in supporting the UK’s transition to net zero and decarbonisation and we’re thrilled to be making such a significant contribution with the largest electricity transmission reinforcement project in the UK.”