T&D World Magazine

BritNed Submarine HVDC Cable to Connect UK and The Netherlands

National Grid and NLink - a subsidiary of TenneT - are building an electricity interconnector between Britain and the Netherlands called BritNed. The BritNed cable will join the electricity transmission systems in the UK and The Netherlands making a significant contribution to the security and diversity of electricity supplies in both countries. It will also facilitate further competition by helping to enhance the (north-west) European energy market.

BritNed consists of bundled power cables and associated equipment to connect the two networks and will be capable of carrying power in either direction (dependent on market conditions). The cable will have a nominal capacity of 1000 MW, will be 260 km (161.6 mi) long and cost around 600 million EUR to build. The first stage of construction (preparatory and environmental mitigation) has started and capacity will be available in late 2010.

Converter stations will be also built on the land to convert the power from direct current to alternating current. These converter stations will be built at Grain in the UK and the Maasvlakte, near Rotterdam, in Holland at existing electricity substations.

The BritNed project is a joint venture between subsidiary companies of TenneT Holding and National Grid.

Construction - Converter Stations
Preparatory works are underway for BritNed and are progressing well. At Grain work to prepare an access road for the converter station has started and will be complete by September 2008. Site mobilization for the converter station will also start this September.

The civil works at the Maasvlakte in Holland are planned for October 2008.

Construction - Cable Laying
Work to lay the land cables at Grain and in the Maasvlakte is planned for November 2008 and the marine installation of the cable will start in June 2009.

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