Construction work starts on new £490m UK electricity inter-connector to France

A train driver's view of the Chunnel
A train driver’s view of the Chunnel

The start of work to build a new £490 million electricity inter-connector between the UK and France was marked yesterday by British Energy Minister Jesse Norman helping to lay the foundation stone.

The new ElecLink connection between Britain and France will provide greater access to the continental electricity market, and help to reduce consumer bills as electricity can be flexibly imported and exported to take advantage of cheaper prices, said Norman.

The project will run through the Channel Tunnel between Sellindge in the UK and Les Mandarins in France. It will have the capacity to power up to 2 million homes and provide further resilience for Britain’s electricity supply.

A combination of domestic electricity generation including new nuclear power, gas and renewables, as well as increased access for importing and exporting electricity supplies from Europe, means homes and businesses will have reliable power at the lowest possible price all year round.

Thanks to the Government’s regulatory framework, including allowing interconnectors to participate in the Capacity Market, this major new piece of infrastructure will be financed on a purely commercial basis, with no risk to British tax and bill payers.

The Prysmian Group has been awarded the contract in consortium with international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty to build the high-voltage DC inter-connector, which has a capacity of a 1000 MW in either direction of flow.

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