National Grid, the UK-based Electricity System Operator (ESO), has outlined a £54bn ($64.9bn) plan to upgrade the GB network infrastructure in keeping with the fast growth in offshore wind energy.   

This was published as part of a report titled ‘Pathway to 2030 including the Holistic Network Design (HND)’, which sets out requirements to accommodate the forecast for net zero emissions and expansion of renewable electricity by 2030.  

The three GB electricity transmission owners (TO’s) will now move into a detailed design stage which will entail engaging with stakeholders and consulting with the public, as well as environmental assessments to consider options for routes and technology. The upgraded network is expected to cater to the offshore wind targets of 50GW and 11GW.  

Plans include the development of four subsea high-voltage direct-current HVDC links between the east coasts of Scotland and England which are vital in kick-starting the ScotWind generation and transport.   

Rob McDonald, Managing Director of SSEN Transmission, said: “The investment signalled today will also reduce our dependence on, and price exposure to, volatile global wholesale markets.”  

He said that the blueprint will boost the UK economy through new job opportunities and long-term energy affordability.  

According to National Gride ESO, planned changes to a more cohesive infrastructure will maximise benefits for consumers by saving £5.5bn in costs by 2030 and minimise adverse effects on local communities and the environment.