A City financier plans to open a £200m cable factory in the north-east of England if the government backs his project to build a £3.5bn undersea cable connecting the UK to geothermal power from the hot springs of Iceland. Edmund ‘Edi’ Truell, who made his fortune as founder of Duke Street, the private equity firm, hopes that the promise of jobs and investment will help to seal state support for his Atlantic Superconnection which, at 1,000 miles, would be the world’s longest subsea power cable by some way. An electricity link with Iceland, blessed with far greater energy resources than required by its 320,000-strong population, has been touted for years as a potential source of clean power for the UK. Mr Truell’s proposal is the most detailed plan to emerge, however. He told the Financial Times that Iceland could supply 1.2 gigawatts of baseload power, equivalent to an average nuclear reactor, for about £80 per megawatt hour. That is 15 per cent less than the price guaranteed by the UK government for 3.2GW of electricity from the £18bn Hinkley Point nuclear power station, approved in September. The British and Icelandic governments agreed a memorandum of understanding in 2012 to explore the possibility of an electricity interconnection, and David Cameron, then the UK prime minister, discussed the idea with his Icelandic counterpart when he visited Reykjavik in 2015.
FT 26th Nov 2016 read more »