Business is Booming in Electricity Supply as New Interconnector Projects Start Up

June 22, 2020 1:06 AM
Originally published by Nick Hollinghurst - Working for Tring, for Britain and for You!

Viking Link (Offshore Wind)There's a number of grid interconnectors now in construction across the Channel, the Irish and the North Seas, or being planned e.g. IFA2, France; North Sea Link, Norway; Nautilus, Belgium and Eurolink, Netherlands.

One important one is just starting construction at the moment is called Viking and runs between Jutland and Lincolnshire. This will be the first high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) link between Great Britain and Denmark. The HVDC interconnector will operate at around 525 kV DC and will allow up to 1,400MW of power to be transferred between the two countries passing through UK, Dutch, German and Danish waters.

It is being jointly developed by National Grid Ventures, Great Britain, and Energinet, Denmark via National Grid Viking Link Ltd. and Energinet Eltransmission A/S. Viking is planned to begin commercial operation at the end of 2023.

The first substantial contract was won late last year by Siemens for two converter stations, one in Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire and the other in Revising in southern Jutland at either end of a 767-kilometer-long DC power cable passing through the North Sea. It will be one of the world's longest DC interconnectors.
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Viking will transmit surplus energy to wherever the level of demand is higher. Because periods of high wind-energy production and high demand are unlikely to occur simultaneously in both Great Britain and Denmark, the interconnector will result in lower prices in peak consumption periods and enable a more effective use of renewable energy.

Under a £90 million four-year contract, Balfour Beatty will be responsible for the civil engineering and installation of 68km of high-voltage cabling across Lincolnshire, between the landfall site at Sandilands and the Bicker Fen converter station. Work started in January 2020 with completion scheduled for the end of 2023. At peak construction, Balfour Beatty will employ a workforce of 160.

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The Italian Prysmian Group is providing 1,250km cable for the project's submarine route and all of the 135km of land cables on the UK side. The German company NKT will make and deliver the onshore cables to be installed in Denmark.

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Denmark's Energinet has contracted a team of marine warranty surveyors who will oversee the cable laying and warranty correct prosedures have been followed throughout.

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Meanwhile Next Geosolutions, an Italian company locally based in Norwich has been sub-contracted by Prysmian Group for marine survey works in support of the route engineering and the design of Viking interconnector project. The company's scope of work includes full geophysical, geotechnical surveying and the location, identification and disposal of unexploded ordnance tasks covering the onshore, nearshore and offshore phases.

This huge project will add to the security of electricity supplies and stability of the grids in the UK and in the EU.