'World's longest HVDC cable project' backed with £30 million funding

‘World’s longest HVDC cable project’ backed with £30 million funding

Xlinks has secured £30 million in funding for the development of what is described as the world’s longest HVDC subsea cable that will link Morocco to the UK.

In the early development funding round, £25 million comes from Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) and £5 million from energy technology company Octopus Energy Group.

With this funding, Xlinks will undertake the development of plans to lay the HVDC subsea cables between the UK and Morocco, passing Portugal, Spain and France as part of the Morocco-UK Power Project.

“As a champion of low carbon power and water, TAQA’s investment in the Xlinks project shows that we are serious about helping reduce emissions whilst maintaining the security of energy supply that societies depend on,” said Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group CEO and Managing Director.

“We are already working on a large scale HVDC subsea project in Abu Dhabi, and we own and operate one of the world’s largest solar PV plants. This investment offers the chance to bring both our infrastructure and renewable power expertise to the table to benefit the UK and Morocco.”

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The project will supply the UK with 3.6 GW of renewable energy-sourced electricity amounting to nearly 8 per cent of the nation’s current requirements and enough to power seven million British homes by the end of the decade.

The UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has established a dedicated team to work with Xlinks to consider the merits of the project and understand how it could contribute to the UK’s energy security.

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Electricity will be generated in Morocco’s Guelmim Oued Noun region by a 10.5 GW facility of solar and wind farms, supported by 20GWh/5GW of battery storage. The facility will be connected to the UK power grid in Devon, South West England, via four 3,800-kilometer subsea HVDC cables, which will be manufactured in the UK.

The project is expected to create around 10,000 jobs in Morocco during construction and lead to significant foreign direct investments in the country.

At the end of 2022, Conenergy, a Germany-based investor in the European energy industry, joined the project with a multi-million-pound investment.

“Xlinks’ ambition is to supply British households with secure, affordable, and green energy all year round. With this investment and support from our partners TAQA and Octopus, along with the support received from both the UK and Moroccan Governments, we take another step toward achieving that ambition,” said Simon Morrish, CEO of Xlinks.

“The huge potential of the Morocco-UK Power Project will help the UK accelerate its transition to clean sources of power, increase energy security and reduce consumer bills.”