UK-based utility company National Grid has started commercial operations at the 1.4GW Viking Link interconnector project.

Considered to be one of the longest land and subsea electricity interconnectors, the £1.7bn project was built as a joint venture with Danish System Operator Energinet.

It spans 475 miles and connects the UK and Denmark, with the capacity to transmit enough electricity to power up to 2.5 million UK homes. It is expected to generate more than £500m in savings for UK consumers over the next decade.

Viking Link facilitates the transfer of electricity between the Bicker Fen substation in Lincolnshire, UK, and the Revsing substation in southern Jutland, Denmark.

It features converter stations at each end, constructed by Siemens Energy in the UK and Energinet in Denmark. These converter stations ensure the power is at the correct frequency for each country’s transmission system.

The high-voltage, direct current (HVDC) offshore cable was laid by Prysmian Group using the custom-made vessel, Leonardo Da Vinci, and buried with Asso trenchers.

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Balfour Beatty installed the HVDC land cable in the UK while NKT and Monck handled the Danish land section.

Work on the project began in 2019. Initially, Viking Link will operate at 800MW, with plans to gradually increase to its full 1.4GW capacity over the next year.

The interconnector is also expected to save approximately 600,000 tonnes of carbon emissions in its first year, equivalent to removing around 280,000 cars from the road.

In addition to Viking Link, National Grid is also planning to build interconnector projects such as the 1.8GW LionLink, and Nautilus, a potential connection with Belgium.

National Grid noted that 90% of the energy imported through its interconnectors will be from zero-carbon sources by 2030.

National Grid’s interconnector business is run by National Grid Ventures (NGV), which operates outside of the company’s core businesses in the UK and US.

NGV develops, operates and invests in energy projects for a clean energy future.

NGV president Katie Jackson said: “This record-breaking new link is a fantastic example of engineering and collaboration with our partner, Energinet. As we deploy more wind power to meet our climate and energy security targets, connections to our neighbouring countries will play a vital role increasing security of supply and reducing prices for consumers.

“Stretching further across land and sea than any of our existing links, it connects the UK to clean, green Danish energy, improving security of supply and bringing huge carbon and cost savings for UK consumers.”