The foundation stone for ElecLink, the GBP 490 million interconnector between UK and France, was laid yesterday, marking the start of works on the 1GW link between the two countries that will, i.a., enable higher levels of renewables in the two countries’ power grids.
The ElecLink, which will run through the Channel Tunnel between Sellindge in the UK and Les Mandarins in France, will have the capacity to power up to 2 million homes and will increase the existing interconnection capacity between the two countries by 50 percent.
A combination of domestic electricity generation including new nuclear power, gas and renewables, as well as increased access for importing and exporting electricity supplies from Europe, means homes and businesses will have reliable power at the lowest possible price all year round, according to the UK Government.
The ElecLink interconnector, financed on a purely commercial basis, is one of the most advanced new interconnection projects across Europe and the first of its kind between Britain and France since 1986, when the existing IFA (Interconnexion France-Angleterre) interconnector was commissioned.
UK Energy Minister Jesse Norman said: “As a government we are strongly supportive of greater electricity trading with our European partners in order to lower household bills and deliver energy security as part of our modern industrial strategy. We’ve created the right environment for cooperative projects like ElecLink to attract investment and compete in the market without needing financial support from our tax and bill payers.”
ElecLink will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 6 million tonnes over the period 2020-2030, by enabling electricity demand in Britain and France to be met by the most efficient generating plants.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel, Jacques Gounon, said: “ElecLink further underlines how important the Channel Tunnel is to Britain and France. Not only is it a vital transport link, it is set to play an instrumental part in the supply of electricity to the UK, France and continental Europe.”