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New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

UK to build world’s largest cross-border power line


Lion against black sky with lightning bolts Photo: Adobe Stock
The proposed LionLink multi-purpose interconnector would connect up to 2 GW of offshore wind between the British and Dutch electricity systems

Photo: Adobe Stock

Plans have been unveiled for what is claimed would be the world’s largest-of-its-kind electricity link connecting offshore wind between the Netherlands and the UK. The LionLink project aims to support decarbonisation and energy independence and strengthen UK, Dutch and European security of supply.

Unveiled at the North Sea Summit in Belgium last week and seen as a key project in the newly announced North Sea Energy Declaration, the LionLink subsea high voltage electricity cable, called a multi-purpose, hybrid interconnector, would supply clean power to 1.8 million UK homes. The project would mark the first step towards an integrated electricity grid in the North Sea, report the UK’s National Grid and European transmission system operator TenneT.


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. However, it 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 UK and European Union have a combined target of 110 GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030. The British and Dutch energy markets were first connected in 2011 via the BritNed point-to-point interconnector.


Under the terms of the new development agreement, TenneT and National Grid Ventures will explore the potential of the LionLink multi-purpose interconnector (MPI) to simultaneously connect up to 2 GW of offshore wind between the British and Dutch electricity systems. A final investment decision (FID) is expected in the middle of this decade.


Commenting on the project announcement at the Summit, 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, more secure and more affordable energy future for British and European consumers.’


Meanwhile, UK Energy Security Secretary Grant Shapps added: ‘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.’