Plans to connect North Yorkshire and Scotland with a subsea superhighway given green light

Regulators have approved a subsea links planned to connect Peterhead in the north east of Scotland with North Yorkshire.

SSEN Transmission – which is part of the SSE Group – has welcomed regulator Ofgem granting provisional approval for the first of two such links.

Early work on the £2.1 billion High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea link could now start in summer 2024, and it could be operational in 2029.

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The energy firm believes its “subsea superhighway” will support the growth of renewable energy and will boost the security of UK energy supply by being able to take renewable energy generated in the north east of Scotland to areas of demand.

A subsea link will be established between Drax and Peterhead

Under the proposals as they stand, the subsea link would have a capacity of two gigawatts – enough to power more than two million homes.

It is planned it will go from Peterhead to Drax in North Yorkshire, with work on the project being taken forward as a joint venture between SSEN Transmission and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET).

SSEN Transmission managing director Rob McDonald said: “We welcome Ofgem’s timely decision to provisionally approve the first of two subsea links planned to connect Peterhead in Scotland to demand centres in England.

“These links are critical to our net-zero ambitions, delivering UK and Scottish Government renewable targets and reducing our dependence on volatile wholesale gas markets by supporting indigenous low-carbon electricity generation.

Drax Power Station

“With Ofgem providing much-needed certainty of delivery, we can now engage with confidence with the supply chain to secure the specialist HVDC infrastructure and project delivery partners through an open and competitive procurement process.

“We now look forward to working with Ofgem, Government and wider stakeholders to accelerate the necessary investments in strategic grid reinforcements required to support our future energy needs.”

SSEN Transmission is also taking forward plans for a further subsea HVDC link from Spittal in Caithness to Peterhead, along with other works to help transmit power generated from offshore wind projects which were successful in the recent ScotWind Leasing award.