Nemo Link Marks One Year of Operation

Nemo Link, the interconnector between UK and Belgium, is celebrating its first year of operation. On this occasion, the project partners National Grid and Elia have reported the interconnector’s “outstanding performance figures.”

Nemo Link’s availability was more than 96% in the last twelve months. Power flows have been primarily in the direction of the UK: 5889.4GWh were exchanged in the direction of the UK against 175.9GWh in the direction of Belgium.

The power link, stretching from Bruges on the Belgian side to Richborough in Kent, the UK, began operating on 31 January 2019.

The interconnector has a capacity of 1GW and was the first subsea HVDC project in the world to use cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable technology.

In November 2019, Nemo Link launched an Intraday Capacity product to offer hourly nomination gates. The new product was used the next month when Belgian 1GW Tihange’s nuclear reactor was not functioning for 37 hours and Belgian energy production was low. The interconnector allowed for reacting in real-time and was able to rebalance the positions, according to Nemo Link project partners.

“By enabling the market to react immediately to rapid changes in supply and demand, Nemo helps to better balance an energy system that is more reliant on intermittent wind and solar energy,” said Jon Butterworth, President of National Grid Ventures. “In the coming years, interconnectors like Nemo will play an increasingly important role as we look to share renewable energy resources across borders to help the UK and Europe get to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

The Nemo transmission cables are 140 kilometres long, including a 130-kilometre stretch in the North Sea, and connect converter stations in Richborough and Bruges, each of which is integrated into its respective national grid.