Xlinks: Dave Lewis outlines plan for undersea power cable
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As part of the latest move to tackle the energy crisis, the UK has granted planning permission for XLCC’s HVDC subsea cable manufacturing operations, which will be based in Hunterston, Scotland. Once the construction is completed, the factory will begin building four 3,800km long cables as part of the Xlinks project, will connect the UK to a huge solar farm in Morocco.
In a major “first of its kind” development, Xlinks, an energy startup, will lay down undersea cables that will harness energy from Guelmim Oued Noun in Morocco.
The project is expected to generate 10.5GW of zero-carbon electricity from the sun and 3.6 GW of wind energy for an average of 20+ hours a day.
Xlinks has previously noted that the cable will provide clean, renewable energy at half the price of what the UK will pay for their upcoming nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C.
At £48/MWH, the expected cost of the energy from the Xlinks cable is far lower than the £92.50 that the Government has agreed to pay for Hinkley Point C, which could help ease the current energy crisis, which is throwing millions of Britons into fuel poverty.
The entire project is expected to take four years to produce, costing around £16billion, half of which is for constructing the cable.
Project Director for XLCC, Alan Mathers, said: “We look forward to delivering a factory of great local and international importance for HVDC subsea cable.
“The UK will be positioned as a world leader in the green economy, with the site at Hunterston playing a key role in connecting cheap, green energy from renewables projects around the world.
“We would like to thank the local community for their support during the consultation process.”
According to Xlinks, this project, once completed, will generate enough electricity for over seven million British homes by 2030, accounting for eight percent of the country’s energy needs.
Morocco has become a major leader in solar energy, with the country benefiting from having one of the highest rates of solar insolation – or power per unit area – in the world.
According to Xlinks, Morocco benefits from ideal solar and wind resources, required to develop renewable projects that could guarantee suitable power production throughout the year.
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The country’s proximity to the equator also means that, even on the shortest winter day, Morocco receives over 10 hours of sunshine, providing a consistent source of electricity year-round.
On the construction of HDVC factory, Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Economy and Climate Change said: “Hunterston is a key strategic site and one which has enormous potential for the local and the wider economy.”
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