21 May 2024, 14:09
Jack McGovan

Construction on major North Sea powerline to UK begins in Germany

Clean Energy Wire

The construction of a major power line connecting Great Britain to Germany through the North Sea has begun in the coastal city Wilhelmshaven in northwestern Germany. Spanning a total length of 720 kilometres, the NeuConnect line will link the transmission networks of the two countries and contribute to supply security through the direct exchange of electricity, the German economy ministry (BMWK) said. On the British side, construction works on the power line already began in the summer of 2023. With a capacity of 1.4 gigawatts, up to 1.5 million households could be supplied with electricity through the transmission line, which is expected to enter into operation by 2028, said the economy ministry. “A climate-neutral electricity system needs flexibility. That is why we're not only expanding the power grids in Germany, but also building power lines to connect to our neighbours,” said economy and climate minister Robert Habeck.

The NeuConnect project had been planned for years before construction began and reactions to the transmission line have been mixed. Where some praise interconnection between neighbouring countries as a boon for energy security and a transition to a renewable power system, others view such projects with suspicion, and instead want to prioritise energy sovereignty for their country. Alongside the new power line, Germany also has plans to cooperate with the UK on offshore wind-based hydrogen.

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