A £1 BILLION contract has been awarded for the construction of the first subsea electricity link between Scotland and England, energy firms have announced.
The 261-mile line will run from Hunterston in Ayrshire to a landing point on the Wirral peninsula and will have a 2,200 megawatt capacity.
National Grid and ScottishPower have awarded the contract to Siemens and cable manufacturer Prysmian.
They said the new link will enable large volumes of renewable wind and other energy generation to be transferred from Scotland to areas of higher demand in England.
The firms said it will be the longest 2,200MW-capacity high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable in the world.
National Grid executive director Nick Winser said: “This link will have a vital role to play in meeting both energy needs and helping to address the problem of climate change.
“We are investing in an innovative solution using the most advanced technology. As a result, the benefits for consumers and electricity generators in being able to transport power in the most efficient way will be felt for years to come.”
The energy firms said it would also be the first subsea link ever using a direct current voltage level of 600 kilovolts, which will increase the link’s capacity and lead to lower transmission losses. It is planned to be fully operational by 2016.
Ignacio Galan, chairman of ScottishPower, said: “The HVDC link is a major project in the vital upgrading of the UK grid, with the grid between Scotland and England already running close to maximum capacity.”