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Wednesday, 15 November 2023

Scottish Enterprise commits GBP 9 mn in Xlinks’ Morocco-UK interconnection project

More support from Scotland for Xlinks interconnector: State-owned development agency Scottish Enterprise pledged GBP 9 mn in funds to help connect Morocco and Britain’s energy grids for UK-based renewables developer Xlinks’ GBP 18 bn Morocco-UK interconnection project, Morocco World News reports.

Where’s the money going? The funds will go towards repurposing the decommissioned Hunterston nuclear plant in the UK to help with the manufacturing of one of the four high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables needed to connect the energy grids. The funding package will finance development of the GBP 1.4 bn subsea section of Xlinks, the news outlet writes, citing an earlier report by The Energyst.

The project already has funding from the UAE, UK, and Germany: Xlinks secured GBP 25 mn in funding from the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (Taqa) and GBP 5 mn from UK-based energy supplier and renewables investor Octopus Energy for the project back in April. Earlier in November, German energy consultancy Conenergy invested an undisclosed sum in the project under a “financial and strategic partnership.”

When will the project be operational? The project should be fully operational at its complete 10.5 GW capacity in 2030. Securing funding for the project has seen much delay, raising the question of whether the company will stick to the initial timeline set last year.

REMEMBER- The interconnector project will lay 3.8k km high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cable to eventually transport 3.6 GW of renewable energy — nearly 8% of the UK’s current requirements — from a 10.5 GW solar and wind farm in Morocco’s Guelmim-Oued Noun region to Britain’s power grid in Devon. The renewable plants will be supported by a 5 GW battery storage facility and is expected to be fully operational by 2030.

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