Western HVDC Link
SP Energy Networks is working as part of a joint venture to build the Western HVDC Link, a £1 billion project which will help to bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in Wales and England.
Why is the Western HVDC Link Needed?
The UK faces a major challenge in how it continues to meet increasing energy needs and addresses the problem of climate change. As a result, the way the UK generates electricity is changing significantly and there has been a rapid growth in renewable energy as we move towards becoming a low carbon economy.
This means that we need to strengthen and increase the capacity of the electricity transmission system. We need to transfer around 2,000MW of power across several hundred kilometres to link the transmission network in Scotland with that in England and Wales. A subsea marine HVDC cable is the best method of doing this because:
- It provides the most efficient and economic solution. In many cases, the use of HVDC technology is relatively expensive and not efficient
- DC circuits can transmit power more efficiently over long distances, on fewer cables than equivalent AC circuits
- The use of DC transmission makes long-distance subsea cable technically possible
- Subsea cables can be installed relatively quickly, with minimal disruption to local communities
Whilst electrical power is often expected to flow from north to south, the Western Link will allow power to flow in both directions according to future electricity supply and demand requirements.
To find out more about the various aspects of the project, please take a look at the Western HVDC website.