Atlantic Superconnection

SUSTAINABLE, LOW CARBON ENERGY

Our mission is to deliver sustainable, low carbon energy from Iceland to the UK through world-leading HVDC cable technology and energy infrastructure.

  • 1 Providing up to 1GW of secure, affordable, low carbon energy to the UK
  • 2 Providing a world-class UK manufacturing facility and c. 500 jobs
  • 3 Providing Iceland with a significant increase to its GDP
READY TO LAUNCH

ATLANTIC SUPERCONNECTION BEGAN DEVELOPING THE SUPERCONNECTION IN 2012 AND STARTED WORK ON PLANS FOR THE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING FACILITY IN 2016. SINCE THEN, ATLANTIC SUPERCONNECTION HAS PROVEN THAT THE SUPERCONNECTION IS TECHNICALLY FEASIBLE BEING ONE OF THE MOST ADVANCED SUBMARINE CABLE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS IN THE WORLD AND IS READILY FINANCABLE

Ready to launch and complementary to the UK’s industrial, energy and climate change objectives, Atlantic SuperConnection will help the UK meet its growing demand for electricity, deliver security of supply, and generate around 800 jobs and wealth creation for the North East, while providing the UK with a global leadership opportunity in a quickly evolving industry.

 

THE SUPERCONNECTION:
• Delivering a c.1500km subsea High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable from Iceland to the UK, providing up to 1GW of reliable, on-demand and baseload energy through clean hydroelectric and geothermal generation;
• Bringing sustainable, low carbon power to the UK, balancing intermittent power such as wind, all at a highly competitive strike price of around £55-£59/MWh; while
• Providing Iceland with increased grid security and significant economic benefits

THE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING FACILITY:
• Building a new purpose-built manufacturing and HVDC test facility bringing advanced HVDC sub-sea manufacturing capability to the North East of England;
• Fostering world-leading technical and manufacturing capabilities to the UK; and
• Creating around 800 local jobs, a GVA of around £200 million per annum, and growth and investment for the whole region

Atlantic SuperConnection provides a global manufacturing and IP opportunity, establishing UK leadership in an evolving high-tech industry.

Production of HVDC cabling will enable the UK to develop and deliver future energy projects at home and abroad more competitively.

Atlantic SuperConnection’s commitment to R&D will enable the UK to develop a valuable HVDC manufacturing skills base that can be exported to global markets.

 

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Alpha Diagram

The development of the project is following a typical infrastructure capital investment program as set out below:

THE SUPERCONNECTION

GLOBALLY RECOGNISED TECHNOLOGY BRINGING CLEAN ENERGY FROM ICELAND TO THE UK

The development of HVDC technology can be traced back as far as the 1880s. Modern HVDC transmission uses technology developed in Sweden and Germany in the 1930s with the first commercial installations in the Soviet Union and Sweden in the 1950s.

Today, HVDC is only used in point-to-point connections. The technology requires conversion to and from alternating current (“AC”) to HVDC at each end point via a voltage-source converter (VSC) station, as most onshore electricity grids are AC based. The conversion from AC to HVDC, and vice versa, is technically the most complicated part of the entire process.

Fortunately, our VSC stations will be located on land, making them easier to maintain. The type of VSC stations that we will use are well-established and have a smaller footprint and increased weather resistance.

For long distance bulk electrical power transmission, HVDC transmission is a superior technology to AC systems for a number of reasons:
• the efficiency of HVDC is only limited by the design of the cable (both conductor and insulator) and the operating temperature;
• HVDC transmission can achieve very low transmission losses, using generated electrical energy more efficiently and making it very economical;
• for submarine power cables, HVDC avoids the heavy currents required to charge and discharge the cable capacitance each cycle;
• HVDC allows asynchronous AC grids or AC grids with different frequencies to be connected, improving the stability and economy of each grid;
• the power flow through an HVDC cable is fully controllable in either direction and has inherent overload capability that can be actively used for peak supply. This facilitates effective stabilisation of a network against disturbances due to rapid changes in power; and
• HVDC (particularly XLPE) cables are unobtrusive and environmentally friendly.

 

THE ADVANCED MANUFACTURING FACILITY

ADVANCED MANUFACTURING CAPABILITY FOR THE NORTH EAST OF ENGLAND

The global market for HVDC cabling faces a major capacity challenge. Atlantic SuperConnection is developing a world class manufacturing HVDC cable facility in the North East of England to overcome this obstacle.

The Advanced Manufacturing Facility will be a joint venture with an existing and world leading HVDC subsea cable manufacturer. It will be built in a port in the North East of England. The enormous HVDC cables require direct access to very large ships for transportation and export and Atlantic SuperConnection has been working with the local authorities in the region to deliver the project.

This exciting development would provide:
• significant investment in the North East of England;
• a new and strategically important high-tech manufacturing capability;
• a source of hundreds of jobs and strong economic growth and social benefit for the region; and
• import substitution and export opportunities

Atlantic SuperConnection is currently undertaking an assessment of the ports in the North East of England to find the best potential sites for the facility. Three ports have been shortlisted.

Beta Diagram

ASC has secured intial bids from HVDC cable manufacturers and HVDC converter stations in relation to our Projects. ASC has downselected three ports as potential sites for the Advanced Manufacturing Facility.