Scottish Enterprise pledged on Monday to invest £9 million in converting a former nuclear plant in Hunterston to make high-voltage cables for the £1.4 billion Xlinks project, according to a press release.
The Energyst mentioned that Xlinks chose to build in Scotland due to a lack of global suppliers for the four high-voltage direct current connections (HVDC) required for the £18 billion mega-project.
The cable-making facility will anticipate hiring 900 individuals and contribute to Scotland’s renewable energy aspirations.
XLCC, the sister company set up by Xlinks to build the HVDC cable at Hunterston, plans to collaborate with Team Scotland partners, including Scottish Enterprise and local educational institutions, to maximize economic benefits for the region, as highlighted in the press release.
The £9 million grant provided by Scottish Enterprise followed the planning approval of the North Ayrshire Council.
HVDC is essential for efficient long-distance electricity transmission. Their importance is amplified as countries strive to improve energy security by embracing more renewable sources, included the press release.
Recent industry projections suggest that the demand for subsea cables is expected to surpass supply by 2.5 times in 2030.
Ian Douglas, CEO of XLCC, welcomed the £9 million Scottish Enterprise’s grant. He underscored the importance of building a greener future for Scotland and the wider UK.
“XLCC’s plans for Hunterston have the potential to be transformational for the regional economy and an extremely important addition to Scotland’s offshore renewables capability,” highlighted Adrian Gillespie, CEO of Scottish Enterprise.
Neil Gray, Scottish Government Wellbeing Economy Secretary, emphasized that this project is expected to create more employment in energy production by 2050.
The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project will be a new electricity generation facility powered entirely by solar and wind energy, as well as a battery storage facility.
It will be located in Morocco’s renewable energy-rich region of Guelmim Oued Noun and will be exclusively connected to Great Britain via 3,800km HVDC subsea cables.
The project aims to provide approximately 8% of the electricity to the United Kingdom from Moroccan production by 2030, as well as provide low-cost electricity to approximately 7 million British homes.
Xlinks asserts the project will create nearly 10,000 job opportunities in Morocco, with 2,000 of them being permanent positions, and it will complement the country’s energy export strategy.