The first sub-sea electricity link between Scotland and Wales has been hailed as "a perfect symbol" of the UK's single energy market by a Westminster Coalition minister.
The 260-mile link from Hunterston power station on Scotland's west coast to Connah's Quay on the North Wales coast will have capacity to power four million homes a year when it goes online in 2016. It is bi-directional so England and Wales can access Scotland's renewable energy and power can flow the other way "when the wind doesn't blow" in Scotland, Energy Minister Michael Fallon said.
"This world-leading, billion-pound under-sea connector shows the strength of our current integrated system," he added. Construction of the £1.3 billion Western Link HVDC will support 450 jobs with the prospect of "thousands of jobs" in future, ScottishPower Energy Networks say.