First step on way to £1bn undersea Scotland-England electricity link
SCOTTISHPOWER and National Grid have announced the first major component of a multi-billion pound drive to upgrade the ageing electricity network, plans for which were fast-tracked by regulators last month.
The two have awarded a £1 billion contract to construct the first undersea electricity link between Scotland and England, paving the way for the future export of renewable energy from wind and offshore farms. The subsea cable will run from Hunterston in Ayrshire to the Wirral peninsula near Liverpool.
Due to be operational by 2016, it will be the longest such underwater connector in the world at 260 miles. The construction contract has been awarded to Germany’s Siemens and Italian cable company Prysmian.
ScottishPower, which is funding approximately 40 per cent of the project, said yesterday that the added capacity would give grid access to 6GW of existing and proposed renewable energy projects in Scotland. The subsea link will increase flow by about 2.2GW and will be bidirectional, allowing electricity to also travel from England to Scotland if demand dictates.
Owned by Spain’s Iberdrola, ScottishPower is set to spend up to £2.6bn on its transmission network between now and 2021 as part of upgrade plans approved by Ofgem in February. This is expected to more than double capacity from Scotland to England, from 3.3GW currently to nearly 7GW.
Adding in projected spending on other projects such as major offshore wind developments, ScottishPower expects to invest some £12bn in the UK during the next decade.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
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Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
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