New electricity interconnector with France to go ahead

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A new subsea electricity interconnector between the UK and France is going ahead.

The £490m ‘ElecLink’ project rated at 1000MW capacity will run through the Channel Tunnel between Sellindge in the UK and Les Mandarins in France.

Reliable power

It will have the capacity to power up to 2 million homes and provide further resilience for Britain’s electricity supply.

Homes and businesses will have reliable power at the lowest possible price all year round, thanks to a combination of domestic electricity generation and increased access for importing and exporting electricity supplies from Europe.

The project will also be financed on a commercial basis, with no risk to the British tax payer. This is partly due to the UK’s capacity market, which now allows entry from electricity interconnectors.

Reducing household bills

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 has said the new interconnector will:

  • provide a gigawatt (1000MW) of electricity connection between the UK and France, enough for up to 2 million homes;
  • reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 6 million tonnes between 2020 and 2030, by using the most efficient plants to meet the electricity demand in Britain and France
  • create approximately 300 new jobs during the construction phase

Tunnel vision

Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel 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.

“With the debate over the future of energy security brought into focus recently, ElecLink delivers a smart, low-cost and environmentally friendly way to secure the electricity supply. We are proud to be inaugurating ElecLink and delighted to mark the official start of this great project which will significantly benefit the economies and consumers in both France and the United Kingdom.”

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