UK investor supports 10.5 GW wind-solar project in Morocco with submarine cable


UK-based investment firm Octopus Energy has signed an agreement with British developer Xlinks to develop a 10.5 GW wind-solar project in Morocco and a submarine cable to connect the facility with the UK power system.

“Xlinks will speed up the UK’s transition to net zero by laying four 3,800km-long subsea cables to connect a huge renewable energy farm in the Moroccan desert with Devon in South West England,” Octopus Energy said. “The site will supply 3.6 GW of reliable, clean power to the UK for an average of 20 hours a day, enough green energy to power about 7 million heat pumps all year round.”

The Xlinks project is expected to sell power at GBP 48 ($59.7)/MWh.

“The partnership is helmed by a team of energy experts and business entrepreneurs, including Chairman Sir Dave Lewis, CEO Simon Morrish and Project Director Nigel Williams who oversaw North Sea Link, the world’s longest subsea interconnector linking the UK and Norway, delivering it on time and under budget,” said Octopus Energy.

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Octopus Energy claims to be the fourth-largest energy company in the United Kingdom. It is also one of the largest investors in renewable energy in Europe.

Xlinks CEO Simon Morrish revealed the details of the ambitious project in an interview with pv magazine in April 2021. He said the huge complex would be connected to the UK power network in Alverdiscott, Devon and Pembroke, Wales, via a high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line. This will include four separate cables and will be the longest subsea power transmission link in the world. The company plans to sell the power to the UK grid under a contract for difference (CfD) scheme.

The cable would cross international waters and dip into the territorial waters of European countries such as Portugal, Spain and France.

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