Privately Funded Cross-Channel Electricity Link Submitted
A privately funded electricity link between England and France has been submitted. It will cost £1.1 billion and will stretch for 148 miles between Lovedean in Hampshire and Normandy in northern France.
The plan has been submitted by Aquind Ltd. The two-way link has the potential to supply up to 5% of Britain’s energy requirements. The energy supplied should be also be cheaper and greener, Aquind say.
If the Planning Inspectorate approve the application, energy should start being delivered beneath the channel by 2023.
Local Council Says Cross-Channel Link ‘Seems Bizarre’
The Portsmouth City Council has officially objected to the plan. Council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson said: “It seems bizarre that if you’re going to bring an electric cable in from France, you land it at the southern end of the most densely-populated city out of London and then take this cable all the way through the city.”
The cable would enter Britain via Eastney beach on the Hampshire coast.
Interconnector Link to Make Energy Markets More Efficient
Technically called a High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) electric power transmission link, Aquind’s new interconnector should improve the energy markets. The new subsea cable will link the British and French electric power grids. Aquind say it will make the energy markets of each country more efficient.
Furthermore another bonus claimed by Aquind is that it will improve the security of supply and enable greater flexibility. This will occur as power grids adapt to the different sources of renewable energy and changes in demand trends.
The European Commission has designated Aquind’s latest interconnector as a Project of Common Interest (PCI).
Aquind Interconnector to Help Manage Energy Usage
Aquind said of their plan:
“With the capacity of 2,000 MW, AQUIND Interconnector will transmit 16,000,000 MWh of electricity each year between the two connected countries, which is 5% and 3% of the total consumption of Great Britain and France respectively, i.e. consumption by millions of households.
“The technology used for the interconnection will allow transmission of electricity in both directions. This will result in more efficient use of production capacities and better management of electricity consumption and production fluctuations.
“The interconnector will also be able to provide various services to the national system operators in both countries to help ensure safe and reliable operation of national electricity transmission systems.
“The project may also include fibre-optic data transmission cables laid together with the electric cables.”
More Interconnector Links in the Pipeline
However at the moment, the UK already has four similar interconnector links in place. The country is currently linked to Ireland, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. There are also another ten being planned, including this latest application from Aquind.
Energy industry regulator Ofgem say such interconnectors have the potential to bring their total capacity to almost 18GW by 2023.
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