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Ofgem Recommends Approval For Two High Voltage Cable Links To Europe

March 8, 2024
The projects are expected to add a further 3.2 GW of interconnection capacity to Great Britain.

The UK energy regulator, Ofgem, has recommended approval for two high voltage cable links to Europe expected to power millions of homes and harness the power of the North Sea.

The projects are anticipated to provide more capacity for both exporting and importing energy considering Great Britain’s target to achieve a net zero energy system, which is more reliant on intermittent sources of generation such as wind and solar power. 

Interconnection with European grids enable cost and waste reductions by providing routes to sell excess clean power to the continent and to access power to meet electricity demand during times when energy supply is more limited.  

The regulator has launched two separate consultations to fund the following projects:  

  • LionLink will not only link the British and Dutch power grids but also connect Britain’s grid directly to Dutch wind farms in the North Sea. This Offshore Hybrid Asset (OHA) is capable of providing 1.8 GW of electricity capacity.
  • Tarchon Energy interconnector will provide a direct power link between Germany and Great Britain. The 1.4 GW 610 km cable is projected to provide 1.4 GW of electricity capacity.   

Currently, Great Britain has 11.7 GW of interconnection capacity operational or under construction, and LionLink and Tarchon are expected to add a further 3.2 GW of capacity.   

“We can sell our excess clean power to Europe, when we generate more than we need, or access power to meet electricity demand in Britain, during times when energy supply here is more limited,” said Rebecca Barnett, Ofgem Director of Major Projects. “We’ve assessed all the proposed projects on their individual merits against our published criteria and recommended regulatory support for the ones which we believe will deliver for consumers in terms of energy security and the economy.”   

Ofgem is also consulting on its current view to not approve another proposed OHA asset, and a further six proposed interconnectors, which have not yet convinced the regulator if they meet the requirements for approval.  Ofgem will finalize its decisions regarding funding of the projects in summer 2024.  

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