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Consultation opens over new interconnectors

Ofgem has opened up a consultation over plans for a number of new electricity interconnectors. If the proposals go ahead, Ofgem say they will be built by 2020 and will provide an increase of 3.4 GW of electricity.

Ofgem states the new electricity interconnectors would help to create cheaper energy generation thus helping to reduce energy bills for customers in the UK; another benefit would be better energy security for the future, and it would help to boost Britain’s energy supply.

As well as saving the consumer money, interconnectors, which allow electricity to flow between two different countries, can also help to reduce the carbonisation of energy, thus producing greener forms of energy supply.

Commenting on the proposals, Martin Crouch, Ofgem’s senior partner for electricity transmission, said:

“Ofgem is helping to deliver greater interconnection. These three interconnectors would further boost Britain’s energy security and reduce pressure on bills. To date, under our cap and floor regime, we are looking at adding around 5GW to Britain’s energy supply.”

If the plans go ahead, Ofgem says the new interconnectors could offer up to £8 billion worth of benefits to consumers over a 25 year period.

Four projects under consideration

The proposals set out explain two of the interconnectors will connect Britain’s electricity system with France and the third one with Denmark

The FAB project will link Britain and France via the island of Alderney; the project is under development by Transmission Investment and RTE.  If it goes ahead, the interconnector will produce 1.4 GW of electricity.

The proposed IFA2 project will also establish a connection between Britain and France, but would only produce one gigawatt of electricity; this project is a collaboration between National Grid Interconnector Holdings and RTE.

Also under consultation is the Viking project, which would mean a 1 GW interconnector transmission link between Denmark and Britain; this would be developed by NGIH and Danish company Energinet.dk.

In addition, a fourth and final project, which is known as Greenlink, is being considered. The 500 MW interconnector would run between Ireland and Britain; this project would be developed by Element Power.

Current Interconnections and Consultation

Currently, there are four interconnectors in place between Great Britain and Europe; they are located in France, Ireland, the Netherlands and Northern Ireland; this produces 4 GW of electricity and accounts for 4% of Britain’s energy supply.

The consultation will remain open until May 2, 2015.

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