Three of Britain’s biggest energy companies have agreed to build giant underwater power cables to bring Scotland’s vast reserves of renewable energy to millions of homes in England. The multibillion-pound energy “superhighway”, to be built by Scottish Power, National Grid and SSE, could help to unlock the potential of the prime minister’s plan to build enough offshore wind farms to power every home in the country by 2030. The so-called Eastern Link will run from two separate points in Scotland – Peterhead and Torness – for more than 270 miles along the east coast of Scotland to Selby and Hawthorn Point in the north of England. The companies set out their plan to move ahead with the “interconnector” project on the same day that the government announced they will co-sponsor the UN’s Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow next year alongside NatWest. The companies said the project will support “hundreds of green jobs” during its operation and construction, which is due to begin in 2024. The 2GW power project will use some of the longest subsea high-voltage power cables in the world to transmit enough clean electricity from Scotland’s wind farms to keep the lights on in around 4.5m homes in England. It will also have the potential to double in size to 4GW as Britain’s North Sea energy boom gains pace in the years ahead. The east coast of Scotland is already home to almost 1GW of offshore wind farms and hosts a pipeline of projects totalling 4.4GW. After the next leasing round for offshore wind licence areas there could be up to 10GW in Scottish waters in the coming years.
Guardian 16th Nov 2020 read more »