National Grid launch £600m energy link to Europe

Nemo Link between the UK and Belgium.
Nemo Link between the UK and Belgium.

The National Grid has announced the launch of a £600 million energy connector between the UK and Belgium.

Part of a £2 billion project to connect the UK and Europe’s energy markets, the Nemo Link is a more than 85-mile interconnector between the two countries.

The connector reaches from Herdersbrug on the Belgian coast to Richborough in Kent and is a joint venture between National Grid, Siemens and Belgian transmission system operator Elia.

It is the UK’s first subsea power cable to Belgium and will enable the trade of electricity between the two countries.

The transmission cable was built by Siemens Energy Management.

John Pettigrew, National Grid chief executive, said: “Nemo Link will bring great benefits to consumers in the UK and Belgium by offering both countries access to a broader energy mix and providing opportunities to expand into other electricity markets.

“This new connection will also provide significant social benefits. By connecting the UK and Belgian electricity markets, we will ensure customers have access to different sources of generation and lower priced electricity.  This will mean that customers pay less for their energy.

“Over the next five years National Grid will be investing more than £2 billion in new interconnectors to Europe and our significant commitment is driven by the value that interconnectors like Nemo Link can bring to customers at both ends of the cable.”

The Nemo Link will see 1000 megawatts (MW) distributed between the UK and Belgium when it becomes operational in early 2019.

More than 1,400 engineers and project specialists have worked on the project since construction began in 2015. Once live the 1000 megawatt cable will provide access to enough energy to power one million homes.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said: “Nemo Link is the UK’s first interconnector since 2011, increasing our electricity capacity from these power cables by a quarter and further enhancing security of supply for us and Belgium.

“Not only will this interconnector help us to accommodate more renewable energy on our grid and provide cheaper, greener energy for consumers as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, it will also see continued and close cooperation on energy across borders with our European partners.”