LionLink, the world’s largest of its kind power line, has been given the go ahead. The new power line between UK and Netherlands will deliver enough electricity to power more homes than Manchester and Birmingham combined.
The cross-border electricity line will be only the second of its kind in the world, with the first having been built by Germany and Denmark. The Lionlink, however, will be able to carry more than four times the amount of electricity as its predecessor – making it the largest of its kind in terms of capacity anywhere in the world.
The project is part of the UK government’s work to improve energy security for Britain, alongside boosting the economy and developing clean energy alternatives.
Developing clean energy not only helps create better paid jobs across the country but also strengthens economic security by reducing reliance on foreign gas supplies.
While normal interconnectors only connect two countries, the multipurpose LionLink will join the UK and Netherlands to each other as well as simultaneously with offshore wind farms at the heart of the North Sea.
The new LionLink will carry 1.8GW of electricity, compared to Germany and Denmark’s Kassø-Frøslev (Kriegers Flag), which carries 0.4GW. It will be developed by National Grid Ventures and TenneT and will be operational by the early 2030s.
This builds on the 8.4GW interconnector capacity that the UK has – and LionLink alone will increase that by up to a fifth, meaning more clean and affordable power for UK homes and businesses.
This increased interconnectivity also means LionLink will be good both for the UK’s coastal communities and the environment by reducing the need for further onshore construction and visible infrastructure, as well as lessening the impact on the North Sea’s wildlife.
Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The historic deal with the Netherlands connects our two countries together through this exciting feat of innovation and engineering – the largest of its kind in the world which will provide enough electricity for more homes than in Manchester and Birmingham combined.
“Together with the strong ties we have with our northern European neighbours united today at the North Sea Summit, we are bolstering our energy security and sending a strong signal to Putin’s Russia that the days of his dominance over global power markets are well and truly over.
“I’m proud to have the best of UK energy firms and organisations with me, flying the flag for British business and demonstrating our world-leading expertise in cleaner, cheaper and secure renewable technologies – helping deliver on one of our five priorities to grow the economy.”
Ben Wilson, President National Grid Ventures, said: “Connecting wind farms to multiple markets simultaneously is a game changer for energy infrastructure and brings us one step closer to realising the enormous green energy potential of the North Sea.
“Not only can we deploy every spare electron where it is needed most, we can help to reduce the impact of infrastructure on coastal communities.
“We now need the right political, legal and regulatory framework to make it happen and establish a mutually beneficial North Sea grid to deliver a cleaner, fairer, more secure and more affordable energy future for British and European consumers.”
Britain’s world-class innovation, knowledge and skills within the North Sea energy sector is expected to bring £20 billion a year of investment to the UK’s coastal regions and create 40,000 skilled green jobs to Britain.
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