UK National Grid reports busiest January on record for its subsea interconnectors

The UK National Grid’s subsea electricity interconnectors achieved a record in January with more power being imported in and exported out of the UK than ever.

National Grid

The five interconnectors, which connect Great Britain with France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Norway, transported almost 12 per cent more power than in the same period last year, at an average of 91 GWh per day.

National Grid reported that a total of 2.6 TWh of power was transported through its cables in January alone, which is almost 12 per cent more than the same time last year and 39 per cent higher than two years ago.

Great Britain’s interconnector capacity reached its highest level last month with 8.4 GW, with National Grid’s IFA link to France returning to full service on 27 January.

National Grid’s portfolio now totals 6.4 GW, said to be enough to power around six and a half million British homes. 

“We’ve seen this winter that interconnectors are supporting security of supply in both Britain and the EU by doing exactly what they were designed to do, move large volumes of power quickly to where it’s needed most,” said Nicola Medalova, Managing Director of National Grid Interconnectors.

“Our interconnectors help to make Britain’s energy system more secure, enabling system operators to access electricity at the flick of a switch to respond to sudden changes in demand and supply. As we move toward a zero-carbon economy, the cooperation with our neighbours that we have seen this winter will be increasingly important, which is why it’s so wonderful to see such strong performance in a difficult period.”

On 2 January, the UK broke its import record for a single day with interconnectors making up 19 per cent of generation. Over the evening peak (5.30pm) interconnectors were importing 91 per cent of their potential capacity.

By 2030, it is estimated that interconnectors will have saved the UK around 100 million tonnes of CO2.

National Grid’s sixth interconnector is currently under construction and expected to be complete by the end of the year. Viking Link, which will join Lincolnshire with Revsing in Denmark, will stretch for 475 miles and have the ability to bring in enough clean energy for a further 1.4 million homes.