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Viking Link: Harnessing wind to power UK-Denmark energy ambitions

  • Publish Date: Posted about 1 month ago
  • Author: Steve Walia

​This week marks a significant milestone in the UK's journey towards net zero, as National Grid launches the Viking Link, the world's longest onshore and subsea interconnector. It stretches from Bicker Fen converter station in Lincolnshire to southern Jutland, Denmark.


This pioneering project aims to enhance the energy security of both nations by sharing wind power resources. The interconnector, Viking Link, is National Grid's sixth connection and the UK's ninth. It promises to supply British consumers with low-cost, low-carbon electricity, which is becoming increasingly crucial as the UK ramps up its wind power production.


Activated in December 2023 with a limited capacity of 800MW due to constraints set by Denmark's system operator, Energinet, Viking Link has already facilitated the transfer of 1,733GWh of electricity. It is expected that its capacity will be progressively increased to 1.4GW by the end of 2024.


The interconnector is not just a feat of engineering, but a financially beneficial endeavour. National Grid projects that Viking Link will save UK consumers over £500 million in its first ten years and supply power to around 2.5 million homes.


Claire Coutinho, the Energy Security Secretary, commented on the project, noting its record-breaking length of 475 miles and its crucial role in achieving net zero while enhancing shared energy security.


The UK's interconnector network has seen rapid growth since the first connection with France in 1986. This expansion has increased the UK's interconnector capacity from 2,540MW in 2010 to 8,240MW today, with an expectation of reaching 8,840MW by the end of 2024 as Viking Link reaches full operational capacity.


National Grid is developing further projects such as the LionLink interconnector with the Netherlands, highlighting a robust pipeline of initiatives that aim to bolster the deployment of offshore wind power, crucial for the UK's energy future.