After reappearing in the British government’s new Policy Paper, the submarine electric cable project linking Morocco to the United Kingdom has just been submitted to a second public consultation to work more on the improvements to be made.
The British company Xlinks has this week launched a second public comment period in Devon, a county in south-west England, which runs from Monday April 17 to Wednesday May 31, 2023, concerning its revolutionary project of connecting 3.6 GW of reliable renewable energy from Morocco to the UK power grid through an undersea power cable.
According to a statement released by the British, the Xlinks renewable energy development in Devon is seeking planning permission for 14km of high voltage direct current (HVDC) underground cabling, from Cornborough Range, as well as for the construction of an HVDC to high voltage alternating current (HVAC) converter station site close to the existing National Grid substation located between Gammaton and Alverdiscott.
After working with National Grid to identify the optimal location to connect to the UK power grid, Xlinks developed their plans based on the rural character of North Devon. All cables will be installed underground, with the land reverted to its previous use. “There will be no permanent surface infrastructure along the route,” says the developer.
Following feedback from the first public consultation, the company is proposing to move the converter station site to the former Webbery Showground. This site is closer to the existing national grid substation and less disruptive to local residents, especially during construction. Work is underway to ensure that the site is also less visually intrusive and is substantially screened from view.
” From day one of our work in Devon, we recognized the need for local input to help shape our plans, minimize potential disruption during construction and maximize benefits for the region.“said Nigel Williams, Project Manager, HVDC Transmission, Xlink.
He pursues: ” We were delighted that our first public exhibits were so well attended and have extended our project timeline to carefully consider and then act on feedback from the local community. Therefore, we have made key improvements to our project proposals and we look forward to discussing them at our second public exhibitions and throughout this second round of public consultation.“.
While this project could make a real difference to UK energy security and the pursuit of national decarbonisation targets, he says, the company considers it equally important to be a good neighbor to the local community. and the natural environment, and to explore all opportunities to contribute to social development and economic development in Devon.
Let’s remember. When completed, the Xlinks Morocco-UK submarine power cable interconnection project will be able to meet around 8% of the UK’s annual electricity demand from Moroccan generation and therefore supply around 7 million UK homes with low-cost electricity by 2030.