ALEGrO Project aims to strengthen Belgian, European electricity networks
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    ALEGrO Project aims to strengthen Belgian, European electricity networks

    The ALEGrO Project, aimed at establishing a direct electricity interconnection spanning 90km between Germany and Belgium, will help strengthen the Belgian and European electricity networks by late 2020, Els Celens, ALEGrO project manager for the Belgian electricity transmission operator Elia, said on Monday. A presentation of the construction site of the Lixhe converter station, which is part of the project and was begun a month ago, was given on Monday morning.

    The aim of the 500-million-euro project, shared between Elia and its German counterpart Amprion, is to enable European countries to be able to import and export 15% of their national production. This connection is a missing link. Belgium is already interconnected with the United Kingdom., France and the Netherlands.

    “We also wish to minimize losses, enhance the security of the power supply, and manage energy flows within the framework of the renewable component, » Ms. Celens said. The link will support a 1,000-megawatt transport capacity, which corresponds to 10% of average Belgian consumption or that of the province of Liège.

    The new link, which will use continuous current technology, will also facilitate price convergence due, among other things, to the supply of electricity from Germany which, Elia Infrastructure Director Markus Berger said, comes from two cheap energy sources, renewable energy and coal.

    The entire project will take two years to complete and will use various techniques. In addition to the classic trenches 1,80 metres deep by 1 metre wide for laying the cables, the operations will require the construction, which has already begun, of a micro-tunnel that will pass under the Albert Canal and the Meuse at Herstal, as well as the technique of directed drilling under overpasses, highways and other large infrastructure.

    The construction of the converter station and the laying of cables at Raeren are already underway. The passage through the Herve Plateau and a dozen other communes will begin in the second half of 2018 and will last about a year.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times