National Grid and TenneT have unveiled plans for LionLink, an innovative cross-border direct current cable that will connect offshore wind between the UK and the Netherlands. The LionLink project is a multi-purpose or hybrid interconnector that will connect up to 2 GW of offshore wind capacity between the British and Dutch electricity systems. It will be only the second hybrid interconnector in the world and significantly larger than its predecessor, Germany and Denmark’s 400 MW Kriegers Flag link that connects two offshore substations in the Baltic Sea.
According to an announcement by the UK Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, LionLink will carry 1.8 GW of electricity and will be operational by the early 2030s. National Grid and TenneT expect a final investment decision to be made in the middle of the decade. As per the company’s statement, LionLink will be included as a key project in today’s North Sea Energy Declaration. Furthermore, it is seen as the first step towards developing an integrated electricity grid in the North Sea. The UK and EU together aim to have 110 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.
Earlier this month, TenneT granted $32 billion in contracts to three consortia for the development of North Sea offshore grid connections. The contracts, which cover the production and installation of 14 offshore grid connection systems, were signed with the consortia of GE/Sembcorp, GE/McDermott, and Siemens Energy/Dragados. This would produce enough offshore power transmission capacity from the German and Dutch North Seas to power 28 large-scale power plants.