World’s longest interconnector officially launched

World’s longest interconnector officially launched

Deemed the world’s largest interconnector, Viking Link, connecting the UK and Denmark, has officially been inaugurated.

Katie Jackson and Thomas Egebo, 'press the button' at the same time and officially inaugurate the Viking Link. To the right of Egebo is Emma Hopkins, English ambassador in Denmark, and TV host Mette Bluhme Rieck, speaker at the Danish part of the ceremony. (Credit: Maria Tuxen Hedegaard/ Energinet)

The £1.7 billion Viking Link, which started operating on December 29, 2023, has a capacity of 1.4 GW and stretches for 475 miles under land and sea, joining the Bicker Fen substation in Lincolnshire, UK, with the Revsing substation in southern Jutland, Denmark.

Via a direct link between the UK and Denmark on April 18, Katie Jackson, CEO of UK’s National Grid Ventures, and Thomas Egebo, CEO of Danish Energinet, pressed the button at the same time to launch the interconnector.

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The first three months of 2024 have been a run-in period for the connection and, as expected, traffic through the 765-kilometer-long cables has moved significantly more to the west than to the east in January, February and March. In the first three months of operation, Denmark exported power in 80% of the time, Energinet noted.

Since commencing initial operations in December 2023, Viking Link has transported 1,733 GWh of power between the two countries and has already had earnings of approximately €20 million to be shared equally between Energinet and National Grid.

“The establishment of Viking Link marks a huge milestone in our efforts for the green transition of our energy system. Not only the Danish, but also the European. Since we sent the first electrons through the cable at the end of December last year, we have sent large amounts of power to our English friends and thus ensured that the green power from Danish solar cells and wind turbines is used most efficiently,” said Egebo.

“The connection, and electrical connections abroad in general, also contribute to our security of supply, and the value of this type of connection cannot be overestimated in a world like today, where security of supply is not a given.”

For the time being, Viking Link occasionally runs with limited capacity, but when the Danish electricity grid in 2025 is completely ready to utilize its full capacity of 1.400 MW, the connection will be the largest single component in the Danish electricity system.

According to Energinet, during its first year at full capacity, Viking Link is expected to save 600,000 tonnes of CO2, primarily in the UK.

“Creating an electricity connection between Denmark and England is in itself a huge achievement. But for external reasons, it has also been a long cool move to get here. Challenges such as Brexit, the corona pandemic, the Ukraine war, the energy crisis, the blocking of the Suez Canal, the drying up of the Rhine, raw material shortages and supply problems. All things that have affected the project along the way, and yet we finished on time, and with a beautifully completed work,” Egebo concluded.