PCI permitting one stop shop – times four!

Year

2017

Organisation

National Grid Viking Link Limited & Energinet.dk

Description

National Grid Viking Link Limited and Energinet.dk are developing a cross-border interconnector (Viking Link) between UK and Denmark. It is one of the most multi-jurisdictional infrastructure projects in Europe to fully apply the “one stop shop”, a permitting and participation approach introduced in the European Commission's TEN-E regulation.  

 

Highlights:

  • Achieved good coordination, clear programmes and discussion across the four involved Member States (UK, Germany, Netherlands, Denmark)
  • Ensured that all relevant stakeholders are offered a meaningful opportunity to be involved in the project’s development
  • Similarities and differences in national approaches have been exchanged between NCAs
  • Manual of procedures and practices of the permit granting process for Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) have evolved in light of this pioneer practice and Member States are now better prepared to deal with similar project 

 

Scope:

While the permitting “one stop shop” of the Viking Link spans across four countries in Northern Europe over 5 years (2014-2018), the regulation applies to any grid infrastructure PCI in Europe.  

 

Main information:

The European Commission’s TEN-E Regulation aims to streamline the permitting process for PCIs. Each country has to identify a National Competent Authority (NCA) that is responsible for ensuring that the regulation’s requirements are fulfilled.  

Viking Link coordinated a permitting schedule involving 4 NCAs and 4 UK / 2 Danish local authorities with a strong focus on understanding the TEN-E regulation’s requirements and how each of the 4 NCAs interprets its implications within their permitting processes. Through multiple NCA meetings a shared understanding of approaches to environmental assessments and permitting programmes in each jurisdiction was achieved. 

Viking Link provides a unique opportunity to offer insights and best practices for the benefit of other developers and for consideration in the TEN-E regulation 2017 evaluation by the EC. Such lessons learned include:

  1. High value and efficiency can be gained from engaging specialist local consultants with niche expertise of national processes and personnel.
  2. NCAs can have different perceptions of the requirements and how to align them with national processes – this can lead to ambiguity and “parallel running” between TEN-E and national processes and may create confusion for stakeholders.  

 

 

Additional information:

  • Viking Link is a 1400MW, 760km HVDC underground and submarine cable with an operational date of 2022.
  • Initial experiences have already been shared with NGOs, TSOs and developers through DG Energy’s Northern Seas Offshore Grids Regional Group. Further contributions to the Marine Spatial Planning Support Group of the North Seas High Level Group are planned.