Tiny Devon village with population of 286 will be connected to MOROCCO by the world’s longest undersea cable in £16bn plan to bring wind and solar energy from 2,360miles away to power seven million British homes
- Village of Alverdiscott, Devon, is one end of £16billion undersea cable project
- The village, of 286 people, will be connected to a line running to Morocco
- Scheme will import solar and wind-generated energy to power seven million homes by 2030
A tiny village is to become the centre of a ‘revolution’ in the global energy industry and be connected to Morocco – with the world’s longest undersea cable costing £16billion.
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 of subsea cabling connect Morocco’s renewable energy-rich Guelmim Oued Noun region with little Alverdiscott, near Barnstaple.
The tiny village Alverdiscott in Devon (pictured) is to become the centre of a ‘revolution’ in the global energy industry and be connected to Morocco – with the world’s longest undersea cable costing £16billion
Agreement has already been reached with the National Grid for voltage source convertor stations to be set up in the village, which has a population of 286.
The man behind the huge project is former Tesco 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 1,500sq km in Morocco and then be connected exclusively 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.
The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project says it will import enough sun and wind-generated energy from Morocco (pictured) to the UK to supply seven million homes by 2030
Why has Morocco been chosen?
Over the last decade, Morocco has been investing in renewable energy projects such as the Noor Ouarzazate Complex, which hold the largest concentrated solar power (CSP) project globally, and its wind integrated program.
The country also provides excellent conditions to meet the needs for both solar and wind-generated electricity.
It has the third highest Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) in North Africa – and even on the shortest winter day still basks in 10 hours of sunlight.
XLink also notes that because of the high GHI, solar panels produce around three times more power in Morocco than they would do in the UK.
In total, four cables, each 3,800km long, 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 £800m 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.
‘This is enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over seven million British homes by 2030.
‘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 provide 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.’