Tiny village to connect to MOROCCO with world’s longest undersea cable in £16bn plan

UK serves key role in saving EU from energy crisis says expert

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Alverdiscott in Devon, population 286, will be linked to the North African country by an undersea cable, despite the village and the country’s capitol Rabat being 1,907.27km away from each other. 

The undersea cable is part of the Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, which it claims will import enough sun and wind-generated energy to the UK to supply seven million homes by 2030.

According to the project, the cable will start in “Morocco’s renewable energy rich region of Guelmim Oued Noun”, and cover an approximate area of 1,500km2.

Morocco will be connected to the UK exclusively via 3,800km HVDC sub-sea cables.

Xlinks claimed on their website the project will generate 10.5GW of zero carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of more than 20 hours a day. 

It said: “This is enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over 7 million British homes by 2030. 

“Once complete, the project will be capable of supplying 8 percent of Great Britain’s electricity needs.”

An agreement has already been reached with the National Grid for voltage source convertor stations to be set up in Alverdiscott.

The new electricity generation facility, entirely powered by solar and wind energy combined with a battery storage facility, would cover about 1,500sq km in Morocco and then be connected exclusively to Britain via four HVDC (high voltage direct current) sub-sea cables.

Four cables, each 3,800km long form the twin 1.8GW HVDC subsea cable systems that will follow the shallow water route from the Moroccan site to a grid location in Great Britain, passing Spain, Portugal, and France.

Xlinks said Morocco was chosen as it “benefits from ideal solar and wind resources, required to develop renewable projects that could guarantee suitable power production throughout the year”.

A spokesman for Xlinks told the Daily Mail: “This ‘first of a kind’ project will generate 10.5GW of zero carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day.

“This is enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over seven million British homes by 2030. 

“Once complete, the project will be capable of supplying 8 percent of Great Britain’s electricity needs.

“Alongside the consistent output from its solar panels and wind turbines, an onsite 20GWh/5GW battery facility provide sufficient storage to reliably deliver each and every day, a dedicated, near-constant source of flexible and predictable clean energy for Britain, designed to complement the renewable energy already generated across the UK.”

A technical feasibility study has already been completed to validate the reliability and cost of the project.

Former Tesco boss Sir David Lewis is heading the project, and is also raising £800m to build three UK production facilities to tap into growing demand for the electric cables used for offshore wind farms and undersea interconnectors.

He said in September: “We’re heading into an era of unprecedented growth in offshore wind farms around the world”.

“Investing in a British-owned and valuable, high growth export industry serving decarbonising economies across the world will create thousands of regional manufacturing jobs and stimulate demand for British made steel and aluminium for decades.”

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