The Western Link is a vital part of our infrastructure for the 21st century, bringing widespread benefits to ‘UK plc’. We anticipate that power will flow along the link in 2017.
The UK faces a major challenge in how it continues to meet the country's increasing energy needs and addresses the problem of climate change; as a result, the way the UK generates electricity is changing significantly.
In the UK there has been a rapid growth in renewable energy as we move towards becoming a low carbon economy. This means that we need to strengthen and increase the capacity of the electricity transmission system.
National Grid and ScottishPower Transmission have come together in a joint venture to build the Western Link, a £1 billion project which will help to bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in Wales and England.
Construction of the Western Link is being carried out by a consortium of Siemens and Prysmian
The Western Link project includes direct current subsea and underground cables. Elsewhere in the UK, electricity is transmitted by alternating current. The Western Link project therefore incorporates a converter station at each end of the link to change the electricity from direct current to alternating current to enable it to be used within the existing electricity transmission system.
The project can be divided into five sections:
- A converter station at Hunterston, North Ayrshire Find out more - Find out more
- Approximately 4km of high voltage direct current cable to a ‘landfall’, where the subsea cable comes ashore, at Ardneil Bay - Find out more
- A subsea marine cable approximately 385km long from Ardneil Bay to Leasowe on the Wirral peninsula - Find out more
- An underground high voltage cable of approximately 33km through the Wirral peninsula - Find out more
- A converter station in Deeside, Flintshire - Find out more