National Grid completes construction of North Sea Link cable


Construction work on the world’s longest subsea electric cable, the North Sea Link, has now been completed by the National Grid.

The final segment of the 450 mile-long North Sea Link (NSL), which connects Blyth in Northumberland to the Norwegian village of Kvilldal, has now been laid.

When it begins operating on 1 October, the interconnector will provide enough power to supply 1.4m homes.

The link, Britain’s fifth such connection with the continent, will allow the UK to share renewable energy with Norway.

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Nigel Williams, NSL project director for National Grid, said: “NSL is a remarkable feat of engineering, but more importantly, it represents two countries working together to maximise their renewable energy resources for mutual benefit. 

“Between the start of operation and the end of the decade, we estimate that NSL will save 23m tonnes of carbon – making it a key tool in the UK’s journey to net zero.”

The cable has full capacity of 1,450MW. When testing begins this month, the grid operators will begin by sending 700 megawatts along the cable both ways, before ramping up to full voltage by September.

Subsea interconnectors are a big part of the UK’s plans to decarbonise its energy network over the next decade.

It is currently building a sixth such cable, the Viking Link, which will connect the UK’s power grid to Denmark.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.