The first project to proceed under a new fast track approval process designed to expand Britain’s grid at speed, has received up to £2 billion in funding. It will deliver a subsea power mega-pipe, capable of connecting up to two million homes to clean electricity.

Scottish Power Energy Networks‘ Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) high voltage subsea design will port up to 2GW of homegrown wind generated electricity between East Lothian and County Durham. Commissioning is set for 2027.

EGL1 is the first of 26 critical energy projects, together priced at a ballpark £20 billion, to be fast tracked under Ofgem’s new Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) framework.

Developed by Ofgem, the NG-ESO and DNOs, ASTI is designed to speed up the delivery of strategic energy projects to feed in more electricity generated by offshore wind into the nation’s grid.

Ofgem claims ASTI can shorten project funding by up to two years, by targeting projects critical to delivering the government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Ofgem and its partner network operators intend ASTI as replacing the previous framework, which approved projects piecemeal, one at a time.

Delivery of projects such as EGL1 will provide millions of consumers with access to homegrown wind energy.  By boosting grid capacity, the venture will cut down on curtailment wasteful, axing much of the millions paid to generators currently asked to turn off production, when the Grid and transmission nets are full.

EGL1 is being developed by National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) and SP Transmission, part of SP Energy Networks. Most of its 196 kilometre cable will be under the North Sea. Only 20 kilometres will be buried onshore, connection converter stations in Torness, East Lothian and Hawthorn Pit, County Durham.

That proposed budget of £2 billion is now subject to further consultation.  Without affecting project delivery, Ofgem has already trimmed £43 million from the developers’ submissions, thus reducing the burden falling on consumers.

The project assumes planning consent, in a process overseen by the Planning Inspectorate.

Ofgem’s director of major projects Rebecca Barnett said: “To meet future energy demand and Net Zero targets, we need to accelerate the pace at which we build the high voltage energy network, which transport homegrown electricity to where it’s needed.

“Our new fast track ASTI process is designed to unlock investment, speed up major power projects and boost Britain’s energy security.”

ASTI preserves full due diligence on EGL’s technical & financial processes. Barnett added: “We’ve carried out rigorous checks to ensure consumers are shielded from unnecessary costs and made cost adjustments, where we don’t see maximum efficiency and consumer benefit.”

View the Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) – Project Assessment Consultation.   Feedback on the proposed budget can be sent to:  before the 17 April closing date. Ofgem will publish a decision on next steps at



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