UK’s largest transmission reinforcement project secures development consent

UK’s largest transmission reinforcement project secures development consent
Image courtesy National Grid

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN) and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) have secured development and planning consent for Eastern Green Link 2 (EGL2), which will be the longest high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cable in the UK.

The project is expected to provide enough capacity to power more than two million homes, if granted regulatory approval by regulator Ofgem.

Once complete, EGL2 will run from a new converter station and landfall point at Sandford Bay, 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.

Consents have now been granted for all the onshore and offshore elements of the project by all three local planning authorities, as well as by both the Marine Management Organisation in England and Marine Scotland, in Scotland.

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Specifically, four planning elements have been considered by local authorities and marine management organisations:

  • Consent for a converter station and new pylon compound, in Peterhead, Scotland. Planning Permission in Principle was granted by Aberdeenshire Council for the HVDC converter station and for a pylon compound joining the high-voltage underground cable to the overhead line.
  • Consent for subsea cable in English and Scottish Waters, whereby marine licences have been granted by both the Marine Management Organisation and Marine Scotland respectively for EGL2’s 436km subsea cable.
  • Consent for underground cable in East Yorkshire, England, with full planning permission granted by East Riding of Yorkshire Council for the majority of the project’s onshore underground cable. The planning application was submitted by National Grid Electricity Transmission.
  • Consent for a new converter station and section of underground cable in North Yorkshire, England, with outline planning permission for the HVDC converter station, located adjacent Drax power station, and full planning permission for the section of onshore cable in North Yorkshire granted by North Yorkshire Council.

Sarah Sale, EGL2 deputy project director, said: “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.