News - Construction News

Work Begins on Converter Station

National Grid’s Viking Link has started construction work on its UK convertor station at Bicker Fen, Lincolnshire with Siemens Energy.

This represents a significant step in the UK’s journey to become Net Carbon Zero, with Siemens Energy as lead contractor for the 1400 megawatt interconnector. They will supply the technology to enable the direct sharing of clean electricity between the UK and Denmark for the very first time.

A converter station will convert electricity via Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). AC is used in each country’s transmission system, while DC is used for sending electricity long distances along the subsea cables. An identical converter station will be constructed at the other end of the interconnector, in Denmark.

The converter station will be 300m2, the equivalent of around 12 football pitches. It will house state-of-the-art High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) PLUS technology, which enables the export and import of energy through the 765-kilometer subsea and underground cable to and from Denmark.

In July this year, the UK side of work started to build a new access road and bridge over the Hammond Beck waterway. This new permanent infrastructure will enable access for major construction equipment to get to the convertor station and for operational vehicles to access the site once the converter station is completed in 2023, reducing traffic through Bicker Village.

There are around 60 people working on the site, all following Government and industry guidance for COVID-19 management. Measures which have been introduced include temperature checks, enhanced PPE (personal protective equipment), hand sanitiser stations across the site, regular cleaning as well as strict social distancing.

Mark Pilling, Head of Transmission Solutions, Siemens Energy UK&I said: “Viking Link will play a vital role in the UK’s future energy system allowing the transmission of power with Denmark. This will enable further decarbonisation of the UK’s electricity supplies and help reach net zero. This next stage of construction will see the heart of the project begin to take shape, with the converter station housing the equipment needed to transmit this power safely and efficiently.”

The start of construction of the station in Lincolnshire is a major milestone for the project as it will play a key role in connecting the British and Danish electricity systems. By connecting the two countries grids, Viking Link will make sure there is a secure, sustainable, and affordable supply of electricity for customers in the UK and Denmark.

Viking Link project is a joint venture between National Grid Ventures, part of National Grid, and the Danish electricity system owner and operator, Energinet. The 1.4 GW high voltage electricity interconnector will be the longest in the world when completed, stretching 765km subsea and onshore connecting from Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire, UK and Revsing in South Jutland, Denmark to enable clean energy to be shared.

Both converter stations will use HVDC PLUS voltage-sourced converters in a modular multilevel converter arrangement (VSC-MMC) which combines the advantages of HVDC transmission with extra benefits like AC voltage control, black-start capability, and other functions that improve the performance and network stability of both connected AC networks.

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