Plans for two high voltage cable links to Europe which could help power millions of homes have been recommended for approval by energy regulator Ofgem.

The projects being considered would provide more capacity for both exporting and importing energy, a need sharpened by Britain’s progress towards a Net Zero system, which is more reliant on intermittent wind and solar generation sources.

Interconnection with European grids can help cut down on costs and waste by providing routes to sell excess clean power to the continent, for example during times when wind farms are generating more electricity than can be used, and to access power to meet electricity demand during times when energy supply here is more limited, such as during times of low wind.

The regulator has launched two separate consultations on its minded-to position to fund the following projects:

  • LionLink, a first of its kind electricity link which would not only link the British and Dutch power grids, but also connect Britain’s grid directly to Dutch wind farms in the North Sea. This so-called Offshore Hybrid Asset (OHA) could provide 1.8GW of electricity capacity.
  • Tarchon Energy interconnector which would provide a direct power link between Germany and Great Britain. The 1.4GW 610km cable could provide 1.4GW of electricity capacity.

Britain currently has 11.7GW of interconnection capacity already operational or under construction.  LionLink and Tarchon could add a further 3.2GW.

Rebecca Barnett, Ofgem’s director of major projects said:   “Interconnectors can make energy supply cleaner, cheaper and more secure. It’s a win-win and helps further harness the vast potential of the North Sea. We can sell our excess clean power to Europe, when we generate more than we need, or access power to meet electricity demand in Britain, during times when energy supply here is more limited.

Ofgem is also consulting on its current view not to approve another proposed OHA asset, and a further six proposed interconnectors, which have not thus far sufficiently convinced Ofgem that they meet the requirements for approval.

Ms Barnett added: “We have a robust, detailed and transparent process for approving interconnectors and OHAs. However, we’ve not made any final decisions. Those projects not currently recommended for regulatory support can make their case in this consultation, their submissions will be considered along with any other feedback given.”

People can get involved with the consultation by sending responses to

The consultations are due to close on Tuesday 30 April 2024.  Ofgem will look to finalise its decisions regarding funding of the projects in summer2024.


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