UK-France cross channel link to carry electricity from tides

The international project to establish a connection between UK and France that will enable the transmission of electricity between the two countries is progressing well with surveys taking place off East Devon and Alderney.

Survey work at the proposed ‘landing site’ at Budleigh Salterton beach in East Devon is underway, following initial work in the summer of 2015.

The team behind the project, known as FAB Link, is planning to lay two pairs of electricity cables between the Cherbourg peninsula in Normandy in northern France, and Devon, UK.

This interconnector will be able to carry power generated in Britain to France and vice versa, helping to ensure security of supply in the UK and continental Europe.

In addition, it will route via the Island of Alderney in order to pick up electricity which will be generated by a tidal stream power plant to be developed in the island’s waters.

Chris Jenner, from FAB Link, said: “The aim of our interconnector is to provide extra security of supply to both Britain and France, while at the same time helping to keep down prices for the consumer.

“Once the tidal power from Alderney is online, we’ll also be able to provide very low carbon electricity to the people of Britain and the rest of Europe.”

Declan Gaudion, of Alderney Renewable Energy, one of the partners in the FAB Link project, added: “Alderney has some of the strongest tides in the world, and we intend to harness their power, which when fully developed, will generate enough electricity to power at least 1.8 million homes.

“The FAB Link interconnector will enable us to export this clean, reliable and renewable energy to consumers in Britain and France and beyond.”

The interconnection FAB (France – Alderney – Britain) project will be a high voltage electrical Direct Current (DC) link with a capacity of up to 1400 MW, consisting of two pairs of high voltage DC cables, each nearly 180 km long.

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