T&D World Magazine

National Grid, RTE and Elia to Consult the Electricity Market About Interconnections in Europe

RTE and Elia, the transmission system operators in France and Belgium, together with National Grid in Great Britain, launched a consultation to the electricity market to seek views on the future need for increased exchange capacity between Great Britain and the rest of Europe, such as the construction of an additional interconnector between France and Great Britain.

The consultation is against the background of grid investment needed across Europe in the coming years to accommodate the growth of renewables and other new power stations. To anticipate these medium to long term electricity market developments, the consultation asks for feedback on additional interconnection capacity and on longer-term capacity products, perhaps up to ten-year duration, as market participants may wish to develop long-term cross-border supply positions.

Since 1986, RTE and National Grid have been jointly operating a 2000-MW electrical interconnector beneath the English Channel, linking Great Britain and France. Known as Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA), the link conveys electricity between the British and mainland European markets. In 2001, it was opened up to market players, and the two transmission system operators introduced an auction mechanism to allocate transfer capacity on the interconnector. Developing new interconnectors and new allocation products may help to reach European Union energy policy goals.

A number of other projects are under development between Britain and the continent. For example Elia and National Grid are currently assessing the feasibility of an interconnector between Belgium and Great Britain, with a capacity of up to 1300 MW.
RTE, National Grid and Elia invite all the various players involved to respond to the consultation and contribute to the development of European electricity market.

The consultation, which officially began September 8, 2008, is set to continue until September 30, 2008.

To view the consultation, please follow this link:
http://www.nationalgrid.com/uk/Interconnectors/France/consultations/

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