The British government has classified the Xlinks project as “of national importance”. Xlinks is a project that aims to import electricity generated in Morocco from wind and solar energy into the UK. The project would involve the construction of 10.5 GW of renewable energy capacity, including 7 GW of solar energy and 3.5 GW of wind energy, all in the Sahara.
One of the highlights of the project is the construction of the world’s longest submarine cable, which will stretch over 3,800 km and connect the massive renewable energy farm in Morocco to the UK grid. The electricity generated by this project could meet the needs of 7 million homes in the UK, equivalent to 8% of national electricity needs.
The CEO of Xlinks has stated that the project can be completed without government subsidies. However, the company is currently negotiating a 25-year Contract for Difference (CfD) with the British government. They offer a price range of £77 to £87 per MWh, which is lower than the current wholesale solar energy price in the UK.
Notably, the price targeted by Xlinks is higher than the price achieved at the last CfDs auction for wind and solar energy in the UK. Additionally, the contract term Xlinks is targeting is longer than the usual 15 years for a CfD.
This designation by the British government as a project of “national importance” is expected to accelerate the development of the Xlinks project, which is estimated to cost more than $24 billion.