Energinet.dk’s Supervisory Board to invest in two major electricity projects. Connecting the Danish and British power grids and expanding the power grid across the Danish-German border will be of great socio-economic benefit.
A highly profitable undertaking for Denmark and a more effective green transition are what lie behind Energinet.dk’s decision to establishing two new electricity connections to the UK and Germany, respectively.
The company has already sent an application to the Danish Minister for Climate, Energy and Building.
Working together with the UK’s National Grid, Energinet.dk will connect the two countries’ electricity grid by means of a more than 740 km subsea cable and land cable – Viking Link.
In addition, Energinet.dk and German TenneT are working to build a 400 kV HV overhead line across the Danish-German border. South of the border, TenneT is expanding the power grid in Northern Germany. On the Danish side, Energinet.dk is proposing to build a new connection between the border and Endrup near Esbjerg.
Connections benefit producers and consumers alike
- Viking Link and a new interconnection with Germany will be of great socio-economic benefit to Denmark. The future green electricity market will be much more cross-border, and with new connections, Danish power stations and wind turbine owners will be able to sell more electricity and command higher prices – by better exploiting wind power and exporting more in windier periods, for example, says Torben Glar Nielsen, Executive Vice President, CTO at Energinet.dk.
Consumers are also set to benefit. Denmark will profit from its cross-border trade in electricity, as will Energinet.dk’s consumers in the form of lower tariffs.
- The connections make sound business sense for Denmark and the green transition, says Torben Glar Nielsen.
Viking Link can transport 2.7 million households’ annual consumption
Not just in Denmark, but all over Europe the trend is towards expanding power grids. In future, there will be a great deal more solar and wind energy etc. and the power grids must be ready for that. Large quantities of energy will be transported across greater distances and across borders en route from producer to consumer – to provide electricity on demand.
Viking Link and the Denmark-Germany interconnector both represent major expansions of the power grid. VikingLink will be able to transport the equivalent of 2.7 million households’ annual consumption. To ensure a robust Danish grid and to fully exploit the international connections, the power grid from Endrup to Idomlund near Holstebro must be reinforced with a 400 kV HV overhead line.
The power line on new pylons can be combined with the existing 150 kV connection.
It is now up to the Minister to assess the projects. Ministerial approval is required for Energinet.dk’s investment of over DKK 100 million.
We can sell more abroad
In total, the Danish level of investment will be in the region of DKK 11 billion.
- While the figure is high, Denmark also stands to earn billions of kroner in profit, says Torben Glar Nielsen.
That being said, he is not in a position to reveal any specific figures. Looking ahead, Energinet.dk, National Grid and TenneT will have to negotiate contracts for sea cables, distribution lines etc. and Energinet.dk would be putting itself – and thus consumers – in a poor negotiation position if the suppliers know how much Energinet.dk is willing to pay.
Affected citizens and local authorities involved
Energinet.dk has not put forward any specific suggestions for cable routing.
- We would like to enter into dialogue with landowners, neighbours, local communities, local authorities, etc. to get their input on where and how any new interconnections can best be implemented. Few people are happy about the idea of power pylons in their back yard, which is fully understandable. We therefore intend to involve them so that we can create the best possible solutions, says Torben Glar Nielsen.
However, in all likelihood, Energinet.dk will not be contacting affected citizens and local authorities about any new pylons until the end of the year, he explains.
Projects awaiting new guidelines
In addition to being in the early planning stages, the projects are also awaiting a decision on how the Danish electricity grid in the future is to be expanded.
In connection with a growth package in May 2015, the Government at the time initiated a revision of the guidelines for the expansion of the transmission grid. The work is ongoing. Energinet.dk’s application to the Minister has therefore been submitted with reservations.
Only when the revised guidelines have been formulated will it be possible to offer specific proposals regarding the building of new lines between Denmark’s national border and Endrup – and Endrup and Idomlund – and determine what is to happen to the current lines along Southern Jutland’s west coast, etc.
In dialogue with citizens and local authorities, Energinet.dk will discuss the possibility of replacing overhead lines with a shorter cable section in areas of natural scenic beauty etc. – e.g. propose that a new connection be placed under Skjern Å National Park, thus replacing the existing pylons and overhead lines suspended above the river.
- There may also be places where existing pylons can be moved further away, so they inconvenience fewer neighbours than is currently the case. Or places where pylons and power lines currently run in parallel or cross each other, where we can gather the lines together on fewer pylons, says Torben Glar Nielsen.
When Energinet.dk built the 400 kV connection between Kassø and Tjele, they succeeded in finding a routing which, taken overall, inconvenienced 17-26 per cent fewer citizens than the original interconnection.