Scottish Power and National Grid announce £1bn power link

National Grid and ScottishPower have announced contract awards worth £1bn to supply and build the first ever undersea electricity link between Scotland and England.

The companies said the 2200 MW cable would allow power to be transferred from up to 6000 MW of Scottish renewables projects to users in England after it goes into operation in 2016.

Utility Week reports that the contracts were signed with Siemens FWB: SIE, NYSE: SI and cable manufacturer Prysmian.

The 420 km link will run from Hunterston in Ayrshire in Scotland to a landing point on the Wirral peninsula and the new circuit will enable large volumes of renewable wind and other generation to be transferred from Scotland to areas of higher demand in England.

The link will be the longest 2200MW capacity HVDC (high voltage direct current) cable in the world. It will also be the first undersea link ever using a DC voltage level of 600 kilovolts (kV).

This will increase the link's capacity and there will be lower transmission losses. It is planned to be fully operational by 2016.

Ignacio Galán, chairman of ScottishPower, said: "We are fully committed to playing our part in the government's planned infrastructure development programme, and expect to invest a total of £2.6bn between 2013-2021 on upgrading our transmission network in the UK.

Overall, we are projecting investments totalling £12bn in the UK over the course of this decade, including major offshore wind projects around the country."

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