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Viking interconnector delays could have been avoided, says Ofgem

Ofgem has claimed that National Grid could have taken additional measures to avoid the delays that have been encountered in the Viking Link project

National Grid has failed to take sufficient measures to prevent delays to its Viking Link interconnector project, which aims to link the British and Danish electricity transmission systems, Ofgem has said.

The project is a 1.4GW high voltage direct current electricity link that connects at Bicker Fen substation in Lincolnshire and Revsing substation in southern Jutland, Denmark.

In response to the delays, Ofgem has decided to backdate the Viking Link project’s 25-year cap and floor regime start date to January this year.

National Grid Viking Link Limited (NGVL), the project’s developer, had requested a delay to their Regime Start Date (RSD) based on events they considered to be beyond their control and which had obstructed progress in some key areas.

After consideration, Ofgem partially approved NGVL’s request to specify a later RSD and intends to adjust the RSD from 1 January 2021 to 1 January 2023 for Viking Link.

Ofgem has contested NGVL’s claim that the manufacturing capacity issue in the cable market was unforeseeable until after the IPA decision.

Ofgem said: “We note that in its initial project assessment (IPA) submission, NGVL identified the potential for the project to encounter constraints in the MI cable market.

“Despite this, the project plan submitted by NGVL in support of its IPA submission does not show any additional time having been factored in to accommodate potential delays resulting from the noted potential cable market constraints.

“We also note that factoring in such additional time for cable market constraint-related delays may have potentially put at risk NGVL’s ability to meet the window 1 eligibility criteria of connecting by 1st January 2021.

“We do not agree that another window 1 project taking up manufacturing capacity in the cable market could not have been reasonably foreseen by NGVL and in particular we do not agree with NGVL’s suggestion that this was unforeseeable until after the IPA decision.”

A National Grid spokesperson told ELN: “Ofgem has partially approved our request to adjust the Cap and RSD for Viking Link, our interconnector with Denmark, by two years.

“We are pleased with the outcome and look forward to the project commencing operation early next year.”

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