Aquind proposal could bring UK-France interconnectors to seven

Plans have been announced for a 2000MW interconnector between the GB grid and France, potentially bringing the total interconnector capacity between the two grids to 9GW.

The new HVDC link would connect at Lovedean, near Portsmouth and Haute Normandie in France, developer Aquind told the Telegraph, and go into operation in 2021, although the project still has to apply for planning permission. The company will not apply to regulator Ofgem for a “cap and floor” arrangement but instead plans that the link will be a wholly merchant project. That means consumers will not underwrite the scheme but the developer would be able to take away higher profits.

The project brings to seven the potential connections between the GB and French electricity grids. One, owned by a joint company of National Grid and the French network operator, has operated for more than 25 years and is set to be joined by a second 2GW link. It, and a link using the Channel Tunnel infrastructure, are set to be the next two connections, expected by 2018.

Other interconnectors are planned or under development with Norway (two totalling 2.8GW), Belgium (1GW), Netherlands (adding 1GW to 1GW already in operation), Spain (1GW), Denmark (1GW) and Iceland (1GW) along with several proposed connections to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland

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Further reading: Decc wants 13GW of interconnectors

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