NEMO Link Starts Commissioning Phase

The NEMO interconnection link between Great Britain and Belgium is entering the commissioning phase.

The commissioning period will run from the early-mid December 2018 to the end of January 2019, Nemo Link said.

The project is being developed by the Belgian transmission system operator Elia and National Grid UK.

The Nemo Link interconnector will connect the electricity systems of the UK and Belgium via two subsea and underground high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables. The link runs 140 kilometers between Richborough on the Kent coast and Zeebrugge near the city of Brugge with a combination of subsea and underground cables.

This is the first interconnector between the two countries which will allow up to 1,000MW of electricity to flow in either direction between the two countries from February 2019.

According to WindEurope, the inauguration of the project comes at a crucial time as policymakers are this week discussing a reform of electricity market design that will strongly impact how interconnectors are used. Negotiators from the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council will try to reach a deal on the Electricity Regulation and Directive. This is the last such meeting scheduled, and there are still many items unresolved, Wind Europe said.

However, Brexit looms large in the background. The rules governing the trade of electricity between the two countries may change next year. To safeguard against potential disruption, the project partners are running a public consultation on a contingency plan in case the UK leaves the Internal Energy Market.

Photo: Source: NEMO Link