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April 4, 2022

Ofgem gives provisional approval for Iberdrola’s subsea link

Part of the $4.4bn Eastern Link project, the power line will link Scotland to the north-east of England.

A consortium led by Iberdrola has secured provisional approval from the UK’s electricity market regulator, Ofgem , to build a power line linking Scotland to England’s north-east region.

The consortium includes Iberdrola ’s subsidiary, ScottishPower Energy Networks, as well as National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET).

The 2GW line is one of two power lines that make up the Eastern Link project, a £3.4bn ($4.4bn) project that includes two high-voltage submarine cables with a combined capacity of up to 4GW.

The cables will form an undersea superhighway capable of meeting the power requirements of nearly four million UK homes.

The other power line is being developed by a consortium of the electricity utility SSE and National Grid.

Iberdrola and National Grid’s project will run between Torness, Scotland, and Hawthorn Pit, England.

The SSE and NGET project will link Peterhead, Scotland, with Selby, England.

In a statement, Ofgem said: “This new transmission infrastructure is needed to improve the capacity of the interconnection network between Scotland and England and enable renewable energy produced in Scotland to reach the country’s most energy-intensive regions.

“At an estimated cost of £3.4bn for the two links, Eastern Link would be the largest electricity transmission investment project in Britain’s recent history.”

Ofgem ’s provisional approval is expected to expedite investments in the renewable energy segment, both supporting the UK’s decarbonisation efforts and helping it achieve energy independence. 

The project also aims to deliver offshore wind energy in Scotland to where it is needed, with the nation’s offshore capacity expected to increase ‘significantly’ over the next ten years.

In addition, the investment is expected to secure ‘hundreds’ of green jobs in the project’s construction and operational phases.

In July 2020, Ofgem gave conditional approval for a subsea transmission link between the Shetland Islands and the British mainland.

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