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UK-Belgium Electricity interconnector goes live

A submarine electricity interconnector between Belgium and the United Kingdom goes live on Thursday 31 January. The 140-kilometre-long cable through the English Channel has been baptised Nemo.

The installation is managed by Elia, which runs the infrastructure on the Belgian side, and its British counterpart, National Grid.

The exchange will begin with the transfer of electricity from Belgium to the United Kingdom, since electricity is cheaper, for now, on the European continent. On the first day, Thursday, 773 megawatts will be transmitted.

The coupling of the two electricity networks also means that Belgium will be able to import energy from Britain in the event of an electricity shortage.

The project is the result of 10 years’ collaboration between Elia and National Grid.

It comes on stream, by chance, at a time when Britain is about to withdraw from the EU. However, a no-deal Brexit will not, in principle, affect Nemo, Elia said.

The impact a hard Brexit could have on electricity prices is another matter.

The Brussels Times