National Grid and ScottishPower Transmission have come together in a joint venture to build the Western Link, a £1 billion project which will help bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in Wales and England. The construction contract has been awarded to a consortium of Prysmian Group and Siemens.
The Western Link project includes direct current subsea and underground cables, incorporating a converter station at each end of the link to change the electricity from direct current to alternating current to enable it to be used within the existing electricity transmission system.
The project can be divided into five sections:
1. A converter station at Hunterston, North Ayrshire.
2. Approximately 4km of high voltage direct current cable to a 'landfall', where the subsea cable comes ashore at Ardneil Bay.
3. A subsea marine cable approximately 385km long from Ardneil Bay to Leasowe on the Wirral peninsula.
4. An underground high voltage direct current cable of approximately 33km through the Wirral peninsula.
5. A converter station in Deeside, Flintshire.
It is anticipated that the project will be completed by 2016.
Converter stations: planning permission has been granted for the converter stations at Hunterston, North Ayrshire and on Deeside Industrial Park, Flintshire and work is under way.
Wirral cable: work has started to install the underground cable across the Wirral peninsula.
Marine cable: Trialling of the main sea cable burial will take place in the Irish Sea during autumn 2013.
More information on this project can be found on our dedicated Western Link project website.