Subsea link to bring power to UK from 10.5-GWp wind, solar complex in Morocco

Wind farm. Author: Dirk Ingo Franke. License: Creative Commons, Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

September 28 (Renewables Now) - UK-based company Xlinks is proposing to build a complex of 10.5 GWp of wind and solar parks in Morocco to export power to the UK via what will be the world’s longest subsea cable.

The company, chaired by former Tesco CEO Dave Lewis, unveiled its ambitious project this weekend, saying that its plan is to provide “renewable energy that acts like baseload power.”

On an area of around 1,500 sq km (579 sq miles) in Morocco’s Guelmim Oued Noun region Xlinks plans to deploy wind and solar power generation capacity and combine it with 20 GWh/5 GW of battery storage. The complex will be able to export 3.6 GW of renewable energy for an average of more than 20 hours daily, the developer estimates.

Power generated at the site will be delivered to the UK via four 3,800-km high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cables that will pass through Spain, Portugal and France. The power will be transmitted directly to the UK, with no connection to the transmission networks of these countries. There is already an agreement in place with UK utility National Grid for two 1.8-GW connections at Alverdiscott in Devon, South West England. Green power is expected to start flowing through the first by 2027.

The Morocco-UK Power project is set to supply clean power to over seven million British homes by the end of the decade. The scheme will require an investment of some GBP 16 billion (USD 21.9bn/EUR 18.7bn), executive chair Dave Lewis told the Financial Times. He also said the company is hoping to secure Contracts for Difference (CfD), targeting rates of GBP 48 per MWh.

The developer says on its website that no government subsidies will be used to finance the project.

(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.370/EUR 1.171)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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