Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN) and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) have secured the last of the planning consents they need to install a power cable between Peterhead in Scotland and Drax in England.
Eastern Green Link 2 (EGL2) is a 525kV, 2GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission cable that is expected to cost £2.1bn.
Once complete, EGL2 will run from a new converter station and landfall point at Sandford Bay in Peterhead, under the North Sea, to a landfall point at Fraisthorpe, on the East Yorkshire coast. Once onshore in England, it will run underground to a new converter station next to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.
At 436km, it will be the longest HVDC cable in the UK.
As previously reported, Bam and Hitachi Energy are preferred bidders to build the converter stations at either end.
Planning consent has now been granted for all onshore and offshore elements of the project, including new converter stations and onshore and offshore cables. Approval was needed from three local planning authorities and by both the Marine Management Organisation in England and Marine Scotland.
Planning permission in principle was granted by Aberdeenshire Council on 20th May 2022 for the HVDC converter station and on 3rd February 2023 for a pylon compound joining the high-voltage underground cable to the overhead line.
Marine licences have been granted by both the Marine Management Organisation and Marine Scotland on 28th July and 5th May 2023 respectively for EGL2’s 436km subsea cable.
Full planning permission was granted by East Riding of Yorkshire Council on 3rd May 2023 for the majority of project’s onshore underground cable. The planning application was submitted by National Grid Electricity Transmission.
Outline planning permission for the HVDC converter station, next to Drax power station, and full planning permission for the section of onshore cable in North Yorkshire was granted by North Yorkshire Council on 11th August 2023.
EGL2 deputy project director Sarah Sale said: “We are delighted that our plans for the onshore and offshore elements of our project have been approved by all local planning authorities and marine licencing organisations. What was particularly pleasing to hear, was the support for the project and its purpose from a number of those planning authorities.
“This renewable electricity superhighway is vital in supporting the UK’s transition to net zero and decarbonisation and we’re thrilled to be making such a significant contribution with the largest electricity transmission reinforcement project in the UK.”
Construction is expected to begin in 2024, with a targeted operational date of 2029.