Proposed Anglo-Scottish electricity superhighway to power millions of homes first to progress through fast track Ofgem process

Press release

The first project to proceed under a new fast track process has received a provisional £2billion funding package to deliver a subsea energy superhighway which could connect up to two million homes to clean energy. 

The proposed Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) high voltage subsea cable would be able to transport 2GW* of homegrown wind generated electricity between East Lothian and County Durham boosting energy security and helping to hit net zero targets.

EGL1 is the first of 26 critical energy projects, worth an estimated £20billion to be fast tracked under Ofgem’s new Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) framework. 

Developed by Ofgem, ASTI is designed to speed up the delivery of strategic energy projects to feed in more electricity generated by offshore wind to British consumers. Read more about the Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) framework.

ASTI accelerates the project funding process by up to two years, targeting projects critical to meeting the Government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, replacing the previous piecemeal, project-by-project approval framework. 

Delivery of projects such as EGL1 will not only provide millions of consumers with access to homegrown wind energy, by boosting grid capacity it will further benefit consumers by cutting compensation paid to generators currently asked to turn off production, during times of high wind, due to lack of grid capacity.  

EGL1 is being developed by National Grid Electricity Transmission (NGET) and SP Transmission, part of SP Energy Networks. The vast majority of the 196km cable will be under the North Sea, with the remaining 20km of cables underground linking the cable to substations and converter stations in Torness, East Lothian and Hawthorn Pit, County Durham. 

The proposed budget is now subject to a consultation published today (Wednesday 20 March). 

Ofgem scrutinised the costs proposed by developers and identified £43m that could be cut from indirect costs, thereby reducing costs for consumers without impacting project delivery or quality. The project is also subject to it securing future planning permission in a process overseen by the Planning Inspectorate. 

Rebecca Barnett, Ofgem Director of Major Projects, said:  

“To meet future energy demand and Government 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.  

“Eastern Link 1 is the first project to reach this stage under our new fast track Accelerated Strategic Transmission (ASTI) process designed to unlock investment, speed up major power projects and boost Britain’s energy security.” 

She added: “We’ve streamlined the approval process without neglecting our due diligence. 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.” 

Feedback on the proposed budget can be sent to: 

The consultation is due to close on Wednesday 17 April, Ofgem will consider all responses and will publish a decision on next steps on its website at

View the Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) – Project Assessment Consultation.  

Notes to editors 

*  A gigawatt (GW) is equivalent to one billion watts, and one gigawatt hour (GWh) of electricity is enough to power one million homes for one hour.      

Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) 

Delivering Net Zero requires a huge amount of new infrastructure. The Government’s ambition is to build 50GW of offshore wind to be constructed by 2030.  

This new infrastructure is needed to carry electricity from offshore sites to homes and businesses, but we need it to be built at speed to meet Government’s target. 

The Accelerated Strategic Transmission Investment (ASTI) framework has been designed to fast track strategically important energy transmission projects.  

It streamlines the onshore transmission regulatory approval process and ensures robust consumer protection to allow network infrastructure to be built faster, accelerating build times by up to two years and unlocking capital investment to meet the Government’s target of 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and a decarbonised power grid by 2035. 

A total of 26 projects have been identified by Ofgem for progression under the ASTI process. 

If all ASTI projects are delivered by their optimal delivery dates, we expect consumers will see a net benefit of up to £2.1bn in terms of reduced constraint costs and carbon savings. However, this consumer benefit is contingent upon timely project delivery. 

For further detail please see the decision document: Decision on accelerating onshore electricity transmission investment.

Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) is a proposed two-gigawatt (GW) high voltage direct current (HVDC) multi directional subsea cable to be built between the Torness area in East Lothian, Scotland and Hawthorn Pit in County Durham, England. 

This 196km electricity would transport homegrown energy from North Sea windfarms and power to around two million homes.  The bulk of the cable (176km) would be subsea with the remaining 20km of cable undergrounded onshore, with substations and converter stations at either end, able to feed electricity into the transmission network. 

The project is being developed by a partnership between SP Energy Networks and National Grid Electricity Transmission. 

Read more about the Eastern Green Link 1 (EGL1) project.