Viking Grid connects UK and Danish grids for first time

Viking Grid connects UK and Danish grids for first time
Cable Install with Sunset. Image courtesy National Grid.

The British and Danish electricity grids are physically connected for the first time, following the completion of cable works on the Viking Link interconnector.

The final section of the high voltage subsea cable, which joins Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, UK, with Jutland in Denmark, was completed offshore in the North Sea by Italian manufacturing company Prysmian’s cable laying vessel ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ and its team.

The £1.7 billion ($2.2 billion) project is a joint venture between National Grid and Danish system operator Energinet. Due to be complete by the end of the year, it will be the world’s longest land and subsea interconnector – stretching for 475 miles between the two countries.

The cable joining process took place in Danish waters and involved lifting the sections of cables out of the water and joining each conductor/strand together on the cable laying vessel.

The final section of the cable was carried out by the Leonardo da Vinci, marking the vessel’s first project. Image courtesy Prysmian Group.

Viking Link is National Grid’s sixth interconnector. The company already has five operational cables joining the UK with France (IFA and IFA2), The Netherlands (BritNed), Belgium (Nemo Link) and Norway (North Sea Link).

Once in operation, Viking Link will enable flexible energy to be shared between the two countries, from where it is generated to where it is needed.

Rebecca Sedler, who took over National Grid’s interconnector division earlier this year, said: “This is a fantastic moment for the UK and Denmark, and a key milestone for the world record project as we join the electricity networks of our two countries for the first time. After years of planning and construction work, today’s announcement is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team and our partners on both sides of the connection.

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“Interconnectors bring huge benefits to the UK, acting as clean energy super-highways, allowing us to move surplus green energy from where it is generated to where it is needed the most. That means that we can import cheaper and cleaner energy from our neighbours when we need it, and vice versa.”

Construction on Viking Link started in 2019.

The HVDC (high voltage direct current) cable, manufactured and laid by Prysmian and NKT, is made from copper, steel, paper and plastic and is buried on the seabed.