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Troubled £1bn UK interconnector hit by new fault

3115003 cable cropped

The 422km 2250MW Western Link Interconnector between Scotland, England and Wales has gone offline for the fourth time since its completion a year ago after protection systems “tripped”.  

Operator Western Link said that “protection systems [on the interconnector] tripped. The link is out of operation while investigations continue”. 

The interconnector has been beset by delays and faults. It was delivered three years late and has shut down on three other occasions since its completion.  

Construction began in 2013 and the connector had been functioning since October last year. It had previously been shut down to repair and diagnose faults in May, June and September 2018.  

comprises 4km of high voltage direct current cable, a subsea marine cable approximately 385km long and a further 33km of buried high voltage direct current cable through the Wirral peninsula. 

In total the interconnector runs from a converter station at Hunterston, western Scotland to Deeside on the England-Wales border.  

The cable was commissioned to carry power from Scottish renewables to England and Wales.  

Western Link, a joint venture between National Grid and ScottishPower Transmission, is managing the project. Prysmian and Siemens were brought on to install the underground/marine cables and build the onshore substation respectively.  

A National Grid spokesperson said an update is expected next week, but declined to comment further on the nature of the fault.

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