The UK is on the brink of a green revolution with the upcoming construction of a $5 billion subsea electricity superhighway, set to commence this autumn. The Eastern Green Link 2 (EGL2) project, a collaboration between Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN) and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET), has secured planning consent for all onshore and offshore elements, including new converter stations and extensive cabling.

Spanning from Peterhead in Scotland to Drax in England, EGL2 will be the UK’s longest high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable. This 525kV, 2GW subsea transmission cable is designed to power over two million homes, marking a significant stride towards the UK’s net-zero commitments.

The project has achieved a pivotal milestone with provisional regulatory approval for a £3.4 billion funding package from Ofgem. This green light paves the way for the 500km electricity superhighway that will traverse underground and beneath the sea between Scotland and Yorkshire.

With construction expected to start in 2024 and operations beginning from 2029, the superhighway will play a vital role in the UK’s energy network. It will facilitate the transmission of renewable energy and reduce the nation’s reliance on fossil fuels.

The EGL2 project is a strategic investment in the UK’s energy security and a bold step towards a sustainable future. The superhighway will run from a new converter station 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 continue underground to a new converter station next to Drax Power Station in North Yorkshire.

Local authorities and marine management organisations in England and Scotland have granted consent for the converter station and new pylon compound in Peterhead, Scotland, and for subsea cable in English and Scottish waters. Full planning permission was also granted for the majority of the project’s onshore underground cable in East Yorkshire, England, and outline planning permission for the HVDC converter station located adjacent to Drax power station.

This green electricity superhighway is essential to meet the UK’s net-zero commitments and deliver a cleaner, greener, and more secure energy future. Once complete, EGL2 will enhance the UK’s ability to harness and distribute renewable energy, playing a pivotal role in the nation’s energy strategy.

As the world watches, the UK is setting a precedent for large-scale renewable energy projects. The EGL2 superhighway is a testament to the country’s dedication to a cleaner energy future and its commitment to leading the charge in the global transition to sustainable energy sources.