A tiny English village is to become the center of a ”revolution” in the global energy industry and be connected to Morocco—with the world’s longest undersea cable.
The scheme will see Alverdiscott in Devon, population 286, at the end of a line attaching it to North Africa.
The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project says it will import enough sun and wind-generated energy to the UK to supply seven million homes by 2030.
The plan would see 3,800km (2,361 miles) of subsea cabling connect Morocco’s renewable energy-rich Guelmim Oued Noun region with little Alverdiscott, near Barnstaple.
An agreement has already been reached with the National Grid for voltage source convertor stations to be set up in the English village, which has a population of 286.
The man behind the huge project is former Tesco groocery store chain boss Sir David Lewis.
The new electricity generation facility, entirely powered by solar and wind energy combined with a battery storage facility, would cover about 1,500 square kilometers (579 square miles) in Morocco and then be connected to Britain via four HVDC (high voltage direct current) sub-sea cables.
These would plug into Alverdiscott which would host two 1.8GW connections.
Convertor stations in Morocco will change the high voltage alternating current (HVAC) power at the generation site to HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current).
This is then sent through the subsea cable to the converter station in North Devon which changes it back to high voltage power, ready to be injected into the British transmission network.
In total, four cables will form the twin 1.8GW HVDC subsea cable systems.
They will follow the shallow water route from Morocco to Alverdiscott, passing Spain, Portugal, and France.
A technical feasibility study has already been completed to validate the reliability and cost of the project.
The former Tesco boss is also raising £800 million ($1,080 million) to build three UK production facilities to tap into growing demand for the electric cables used for offshore wind farms and undersea interconnectors.
A spokesman for Xlinks said, “This ‘first of a kind’ project will generate 10.5GW of zero carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day.
Once complete, the project will be capable of supplying 8% of Great Britain’s electricity needs.
“Alongside the consistent output from its solar panels and wind turbines, an onsite 20GWh/5GW battery facility provides sufficient storage to reliably deliver each and every day, a dedicated, near-constant source of flexible and predictable clean energy for Britain, designed to complement the renewable energy already generated across the UK.” That’s exciting news indeed.