Written by David McPhee
The National Grid has announced the launch of a £600 million energy
connector between the UK and Belgium.
Part of a £2 billion project to connect the UK and Europe’s energy markets,
the Nemo Link is a more than 85-mile interconnector between the two countries.
The connector reaches from Herdersbrug on the Belgian coast to Richborough
in Kent and is a joint venture between National Grid, Siemens and Belgian
transmission system operator Elia.
It is the UK’s first subsea power cable to Belgium and will enable the
trade of electricity between the two countries.
The transmission cable was built by Siemens Energy Management.
John Pettigrew, National Grid chief executive, said: “Nemo Link will bring
great benefits to consumers in the UK and Belgium by offering both
countries access to a broader energy mix and providing opportunities to
expand into other electricity markets.
“This new connection will also provide significant social benefits. By
connecting the UK and Belgian electricity markets, we will ensure customers
have access to different sources of generation and lower priced
electricity. This will mean that customers pay less for their energy.
“Over the next five years National Grid will be investing more than £2
billion in new interconnectors to Europe and our significant commitment is
driven by the value that interconnectors like Nemo Link can bring to
customers at both ends of the cable.”
The Nemo Link will see 1000 megawatts (MW) distributed between the UK and
Belgium when it becomes operational in early 2019.
More than 1,400 engineers and project specialists have worked on the
project since construction began in 2015. Once live the 1000 megawatt cable
will provide access to enough energy to power one million homes.
Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “Nemo Link is the UK’s first
interconnector since 2011, increasing our electricity capacity from these
power cables by a quarter and further enhancing security of supply for us
“Not only will this interconnector help us to accommodate more renewable
energy on our grid and provide cheaper, greener energy for consumers as
part of our modern Industrial Strategy, it will also see continued and
close cooperation on energy across borders with our European partners.”