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Work Starts on Converter for Massive British-German “Energy Highway”

Construction has commenced in northern Germany and on a new UK converter station that will help link the grids in Europe’s two largest energy markets.

German Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck and British Minister of State for Trade Greg Hands were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony near the German city of Wilhelmshaven.

The overall project, known as NeuConnect, comes at a cost of EUR 2.8 billion and will allow 1.4 gigawatts of electricity to flow in both directions. 

Major construction in the UK started last summer with the first phase completed in late 2023. New converter stations are currently being built on the Isle of Grain in Kent.

When finished NeuConnect will be one of the world’s largest interconnectors, encompassing some 725 kilometers of land and subsea cables. It is estimated that NeuConnect will begin operations by 2028.

“The climate-neutral electricity system requires flexibility,” said Habeck in a statement. “That’s why we’re not only expanding the electrical grid in Germany but also creating power connections with our neighbors. The construction of this electricity connection is one of the cornerstones of decarbonization…The close German-British cooperation in this area is a good signal for further cooperative projects.”

“The start of early works on the UK converter station is another important step forwards for NeuConnect and continues the good progress and strong momentum behind the project,” NeuConnect chief executive Arnaud Grévoz told the trade journal New Civil Engineer. “With major construction also starting soon in Germany, the delivery of the first UK-German energy link remains firmly on track.”


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