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Ofgem eyes '7.5GW' of links

Five projects could link UK with France, Ireland, Norway and Denmark

Ofgem eyes '7.5GW' of links image

Energy watchdog Ofgem has named five new potential interconnector projects that could link the UK with France, Ireland, Norway and Denmark.

Together with the ElecLink and Nemo projects that Ofgem has already assessed, the schemes could lead to investment of up to £6bn and provide up to 7.5GW of additional electricity capacity in the UK.

The FAB project is proposed by FAB and Réseau de Transport d'Électricité and will create a link between Exeter in England and France. Operations are slated in 2020.

The Greenlink scheme by Element Power will connect Pembroke in Wales with the Republic of Ireland while the IFA2 development by National Grid Interconnector Holdings and Réseau de Transport d'Électricité targets a connection with France in 2019.

The NSN initiative by NGIH and Statnett will link Blyth in Northumberland with Norway, going live in 2019, while the Viking Link by NGIH and will run between Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire and Denmark.

Ofgem said all five of the projects “meet the minimum eligibility criteria”. The applications followed Ofgem’s decision to extend the cap and floor regime to electricity interconnectors that can connect to the network by 2020.

The schemes will now move to the Initial Project Assessment stage of the process, under which Ofgem will assess their impacs, how they interact and whether they are likely to deliver value for money.

If successful, work on some of the projects could start as early as 2016.

Martin Crouch, Ofgem’s senior partner for transmission, said: “It’s excellent to find our new approach to interconnector regulation has attracted such interest. These five new projects, if approved and then built, could provide real benefits to consumers.”

Image: the schemes could bolster the UK's energy security (National Grid)

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