Natural Power has assisted AQUIND Ltd. with the application for development consent for the AQUIND Interconnector. The application to the Planning Inspectorate was accepted on 12th December 2019.
The AQUIND Interconnector is a new 2,000 MW subsea and underground high voltage direct current bi-directional electric power transmission link between the south coast of England and Normandy in France. By linking the British and French electric power grids it will make energy markets more efficient, improve security of supply and enable greater flexibility as power grids evolve to adapt to different sources of renewable energy and changes in demand trends such as the development of electric vehicles. In 2018, the Government recognised the importance of the project and designated it as a nationally significant infrastructure project.
Jane Lancaster, Offshore Associate Technical Director at Natural Power, said: “The acceptance of the submission of the AQUIND Interconnector is excellent news, both for AQUIND and Natural Power. It has been a challenging and rewarding project thus far and we have been instrumental in the preparation of the submission of the application to the Planning Inspectorate. The broad spectrum of work that we carried out highlights our capabilities when it comes to offshore projects. It has been a successful team effort between many organisations making up the AQUIND project team and we look forward to the next phase of development.”
Natural Power was appointed by AQUIND in the early stages of the project, working with the AQUIND project team to undertake marine cable route feasibility work to optimise the marine cable route across the Channel, undertaking scoping exercises, co-ordinating the marine environmental impact assessment (EIA) process and environmental statement (ES) production, as well as attending public consultations. Natural Power also acted as advisor to the marine aspects of the project through liaison with marine stakeholders including the Marine Management Organisation as part of pre-application process. The AQUIND Interconnector will have the capacity to transmit up to 16 million MWh of electricity per annum, which equates to approximately 5% and 3% of total consumption of the UK and France respectively.
Richard Glasspool, Director of AQUIND Ltd, said: “Amongst other things, this project is an opportunity to integrate a greater proportion of non-fossil fuel energy sources into the British energy mix and in turn reduce CO2 emissions from the burning of such fuels. We are pleased to have reached this milestone in the planning of this development. Natural Power’s hard work and expertise in marine ecology and EIA management services was a major factor in the preparation of this submission. They were a highly experienced and professional team.”
Natural Power’s offshore renewables experience spans more than 50 projects, covering offshore wind, wave and tidal technologies and interconnectors.