Eastern Green Link 2 receives provisional regulatory approval

  • Eastern Green Link 2, an over-500km subsea connection between Scotland and Yorkshire will be the longest ever built in Great Britain, bolstering energy security and contributing to net zero targets

Ofgem has today given provisional approval of the expenditure required for the High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) subsea superhighway, Eastern Green Link 2 (EGL2), a joint venture between SSEN Transmission and National Grid Electricity Transmission.

The 525kV 2GW link is capable of carrying enough electricity to power nearly two million homes and will run from Peterhead in north east Scotland to Drax on the east coast of England.

At a total expected nominal investment of around £4.3bn, EGL2 is the single largest-ever investment in electricity transmission infrastructure in Great Britain. As such, it is one of the most significant, strategic investments in energy infrastructure the country has seen in recent years.

Sandy Mactaggart, Director of Offshore Delivery for SSEN Transmission, added:

We welcome Ofgem’s provisional decision to approve all necessary expenditure for the Eastern Green Link 2 project, a critical milestone in the final stages of the regulatory approvals process.

With HVDC technology set to play a leading role in the clean energy transition, the delivery of EGL2 will build on the significant expertise we have established in this cutting-edge technology following the success of our Caithness-Moray HVDC link, and the Shetland HVDC link which remains on track for energisation this summer.

We now look forward to working constructively with Ofgem and other stakeholders to finalise the investment required, in a timely manner, to build this underwater superhighway of electricity transmission, unlocking the electricity generation capacity required to power two million homes.

We also look forward to working with NGET and our supply chain partners on this and future projects as we continue to deliver the critical national infrastructure required to meet our energy ambitions.

Zac Richardson, Offshore Delivery Director for National Grid said: 

The Eastern Green Links form part of The Great Grid Upgrade, our critical infrastructure investment plan which will upgrade and reinforce the electricity network to support the significant growth in renewable generation.

We welcome Ofgem’s provisional decision as we believe the links will deliver the best value for money for consumers, while helping the UK decarbonise and achieve its net zero ambition.

Energy Minister Graham Stuart said: 

Improving our infrastructure is crucial for adding more, cheaper renewable energy to the grid and transporting electricity to where it is needed. That's why we announced reforms to help unlock investment and halve the time it takes to build new network infrastructure.

This project is just the start and will unleash Scotland’s renewable potential, strengthen the UK’s energy security, and support hundreds of jobs during construction.

Bolstering energy security

EGL2 will help unlock Scotland’s renewable potential. It will enable clean homegrown energy to be transported to demand centres, bolstering energy security by reducing the UK’s reliance on imported electricity. It will also significantly reduce the costs associated with transmission system constraints which routinely see generators paid to not produce power, allowing this existing electricity generation to be transported to end users.

Supporting thousands of jobs

EGL2 will support hundreds of skilled jobs during the construction phase and thousands more across the wider economy. Lessons learned in this pioneering project will also support future HVDC deployment, which will be crucial to delivering the transformational increase in grid capacity required to deliver a clean energy power system.

Funding Critical National Infrastructure  

SSEN Transmission’s expected £2bn investment in the EGL2 HVDC link is part of its ‘Pathway to 2030’ investments, which will see around £20bn invested in the north of Scotland electricity transmission network over the next decade. National Grid’s investment in EGL2 forms part of it’s ‘Great Grid Upgrade’, the largest overhaul of the grid in generations and a multibillion investment in new electricity transmission projects across England and Wales. 

Securing the supply chain

Ofgem’s decision builds on the recent announcement that the EGL2 joint venture has signed contracts with BAM Nuttal for all civil works, Hitachi Energy for the HVDC Convertor Station and Prysmian for the HVDC subsea and land cable. With all major supply chain partners in place, the project remains firmly on track for energisation in 2029.