About Sea Link

This page sets out our proposals as presented at our statutory consultation between 24 October and 18 December 2023. Although the consultation has now closed, this page has been left online for reference use.

The project

NGET is proposing to reinforce the electricity network between Suffolk and Kent via a new, primarily offshore, 2 gigawatt high voltage direct current link.

Sea Link has been designed to increase the capability of the network to carry low carbon and renewable energy form where it is generated to homes and businesses across the country.

The proposed Project is split into three elements:

The Suffolk onshore scheme
  • a connection from the existing transmission network via the proposed Friston Substation, including the substation itself. Friston Substation already has development consent as part of other third-party projects. If Friston Substation has already been constructed under another consent, only a connection into the substation would be constructed by Sea Link
  • a high voltage alternating current (HVAC) underground cable of approximately 1.7 km in length between the proposed Friston Substation and a proposed converter station (below)
  • a 2 GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) converter station up to 26 m high plus external equipment (such as lightning protection & railings for walkways) near Saxmundham
  • a HVDC underground cable connection of approximately 10 km in length between the proposed converter station near Saxmundham, and a transition joint bay (TJB) approximately 900 m inshore from a landfall point (below) where the cable transitions from onshore to offshore technology
  • a landfall on the Suffolk coast (between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness). 

The proposals in Suffolk have been developed for Sea Link as a standalone project, but also include opportunities to co-locate infrastructure for up to two further projects at the converter station, cable corridors and the landfall location.

The offshore scheme
  • approximately 130 km of subsea HVDC cable, running between the Suffolk landfall location (between Aldeburgh and Thorpeness), and the Kent landfall location at Pegwell Bay.
The Kent onshore scheme
  • a landfall point on the Kent coast at Pegwell Bay
  • a TJB approximately 800 m inshore to transition from offshore HVDC cable to onshore HVDC cable, before continuing underground for approximately 2 km to a proposed new converter station (below)
  • a 2 GW HVDC converter station, up to 26 m high plus external equipment (such as lightning protection & railings for walkways), near Minster. A new substation would be located immediately adjacent
  • removal of approximately 1 km of existing HVAC overhead line, and installation of approximately 2.25 km of new HVAC overhead line from the converter station and substation near Minster and the existing Richborough to Canterbury overhead line. 

Our proposals for Sea Link also include modifications to sections of existing overhead lines in Suffolk and Kent, diversions of third-party assets, and land drainage from the construction and operational footprint. It also includes opportunities for environmental mitigation, compensation and enhancement (such as hedgerow creation, native tree planting or funding local wildlife groups). The construction phase will involve various temporary construction activities including working areas for construction equipment and machinery, site offices, storage, accesses, bellmouths, and haul roads, as well as watercourse crossings and the diversion of public rights of way (PROWs).

As we prepare to apply for a Development Consent Order (which would give us permission to build, operate and maintain Sea Link), we undertook a statutory consultation on our proposals, to gather your views on our developed plans for Sea Link.