SSEN Transmission and National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) have selected Bam and Hitachi Energy as preferred suppliers for the HVDC converter stations, on their subsea electricity superhighway development, Eastern Green Link 2.
The Eastern Green Link 2 (or EGL2) project will see the creation of a 525kV, 2GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea transmission cable from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire to Drax in North Yorkshire.
Bam Nuttall and Hitachi Energy will build converter stations at either end, bringing electricity generated from offshore wind turbines to domestic users.
It will be the longest HVDC cable in the UK and the UK’s single largest electricity transmission project ever, providing enough electricity to power two million UK homes.
Bam will work with Hitachi Energy to provide the engineering works and technology for the HVDC converter stations that form the terminals for the HVDC cable and convert direct current to the alternating current used in the onshore transmission network.
Following final approval from Ofgem, work is expected to start in 2024 with a targeted operational date of 2029.
The subsea HVDC cable system is approximately 436km long with new converter stations at either end to connect it into the existing transmission network infrastructure. High-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology is reckoned to provide the most efficient and reliable means of transmitting large amounts of power over long distances subsea.
EGL2 project director Ricky Saez said: “Getting to preferred bidder status with Hitachi Energy and Bam is another massive step in delivering the hugely important EGL2 project. It’s the final major contract that needed to be agreed and really sets the joint venture up to be delivered.
“The converter stations at either end of the cable will play a crucial role in making the power transported subsea suitable for transportation around the onshore transmission network - getting Hitachi Energy and BAM in place to deliver that technology is great for the project.”
Niklas Persson, managing director at Hitachi Energy’s grid integration business, said: “The UK’s net zero strategy has ambitious targets that will require vast amounts of new renewable generation. Electricity will be the backbone of the entire energy system. Our pioneering HVDC technology will ensure that this electricity will reliably and efficiently get where it’s needed most.”