The first stretch of a new power link cable between Belgium and the UK has been laid in Kent, England. The link will increase UK capacity to import or export power from the continent by 20 per cent.
Nemo Link, a joint venture between the UK’s National Grid and Belgium’s Elia System Operator, said it had started laying 59 km (37 miles) of the subsea power cable in Kent, on the British east coast, while work at the Belgian end would commence next year.
It is the first of several planned interconnectors between the UK and France, Norway, Denmark and Belgium, and the project has gone ahead despite fears of Brexit impacting on proceedings.
Interconnectors to Europe increase Britain’s flexibility to supply consumers with power.
“A well-integrated electricity grid is for the benefit of the consumers and the general welfare, as it provides access to cheap, renewable energy anywhere in Europe and allows to export excess energy when necessary,” Elia Chief Executive Chris Peeters said in a statement.
Britain plans to build three new cables to France, adding 3.4 GW of capacity to the existing 2 GW, as well as its first interconnector to Norway with 1.4 GW of capacity and to Denmark with 1 GW of capacity, according to UK energy regulator Ofgem.
DeepOcean’s Maersk Connector is installing the two 59km-long 400kv HVDC XPLE cables that make up the first section of the link.