In February 2015 National Grid Nemo Link Limited and Elia, the Belgian Transmission System Operator, signed sign a joint venture agreement to move ahead with the Nemo Link – the first electricity interconnector between the two countries.
When completed the interconnector will provide 1000 MW of capacity – enough to power half a million homes. The link will run 140 kilometres between Richborough on the Kent coast and Herdersbrug, near Zeebrugge with a combination of undersea and underground cables. Electricity will flow in either direction between the two countries. The cable will pass through UK, French and Belgian waters.
National Grid Electricity Transmission are currently developing plans for the connection of the Richborough substation to the existing transmission system - this project is called the Richborough Connection (see link below).
Nemo Link will provide a third interconnector between UK and Europe, helping to further integrate the Europe-wide internal energy market. A 2000 MW link to France and 1000 MW link to the Netherlands are already in operation. Being at the crossroads between electricity markets in Western and Eastern Europe, the Belgian grid is currently able to import 3500 MW of capacity and plans an additional 1000MW interconnection with Germany.
Subject to finalising suitable deals, Nemo Link will be announcing contracts for the construction of the converter stations and cable laying. Engineering design work and site preparation should begin later in the year. It’s anticipated that Nemo Link will go into commercial operation in 2019.
Nemo Link® website
Richborough Connection project