Britain is set to double the amount of electricity it imports from France under plans to construct a new £1.1 billion subsea power cable. The power line running from Le Havre to Lovedean, near Portsmouth, will supply enough electricity to power four million British homes, according to its developer. It also is intended to be up and running in 2021, at least four years earlier than the new nuclear plant planned for Hinkley Point, Somerset, by the French utility EDF. The two gigawatt link, big enough to supply electricity equivalent to that of two nuclear power stations of the same size as Dungeness B, is being developed by Aquind, a privately owned developer controlled by Alexander Temerko, a Ukrainian businessman who was granted UK citizenship in 2011. He was formerly a senior executive at Yukos, the Russian oil giant broken up by the Kremlin in the mid-2000 s after the arrest of Mikhail Kodhorkovsky. After emigrating to Britain, Mr Temerko successfully blocked Kremlin-backed efforts to have him extradited to face corruption allegations in Russia, which a British judge said were politically motivated. The cross-Channel interconnector, which is due to be announced today, will be capable of both importing and exporting power, but analysts believe that a shortage of British generating capacity and a surplus of French nuclear electricity mean that generally it will flow from the Continent rather than to it. ord Callanan, a non-executive director of Aquind, said that the project would help to bolster energy security at a time of uncertainty over power projects such as Hinkley Point. “With a growing energy supply gap threatening UK households and businesses, there’s an urgent need for a fast and reliable way to introduce new capacity,” he said. “The interconnector will significantly ease the pressure on the UK grid and redu ce the risk of blackouts.” Britain already has a two gigawatt interconnector to France that is owned by National Grid and RTE, its French equivalent. It has been in service since 1986 and supplied electricity to the UK almost non-stop during the year to March 31.
Times 13th June 2016 read more »
A prominent Conservative donor has set out plans to capitalise on the threat of electricity blackouts by building a new £1.1bn link to France’s nuclear-powered electricity grid. Alexander Temerko, an outspoken critic of the Government’s energy policy despite his financial support for the Tory party, hopes to build the 150-mile undersea power cable to meet demand for imports of cheap power from Britain’s closest continental neighbour by 2021.There are currently four interconnectors to mainland UK, from France, the Netherlands, Ireland and Northern Ireland, with a combined capacity of 4GW. Ministers have said they would support a further 9GW of new interconnectors to help to improve security of supply by giving the UK access to power generated elsewhere.
Telegraph 13th June 2016 read more »