January 31, 2019 / 8:06 AM / in 3 months

Nemo Link power cable from Britain to Belgium starts operations

LONDON, Jan 31 (Reuters) - A new power cable between Britain and Belgium, which has the capacity to provide power for one million homes, began operations on Thursday, the UK’s National Grid said.

The 560 million pound ($735 million) Nemo Link, a joint project between National Grid and Belgian transmission system operator Elia, is capable of transmitting a gigawatt (GW) of electricity and is one of a handful of new interconnectors being built between Britain and continental Europe to increase the UK’s power supply flexibility.

“Interconnectors like Nemo Link are the perfect tool to move renewable energy from where it is produced to where it is needed most,” said John Pettigrew, chief executive of National Grid, which owns and operates much of Britain’s energy distribution network.

“By connecting the UK and Belgian electricity markets, we will also ensure customers have access to different sources of generation and lower-priced electricity,” he said.

Britain already runs a 2 GW interconnector with France and 1 GW connection with the Netherlands.

A 1 GW link to France called IFA2 and the 1.4 GW North Sea Link to Norway are also under construction and due to begin operations as of next year. In addition a 1.4 GW cable to Denmark, the Viking Link, has been approved, National Grid said.

Average UK daytime demand for electricity is about 32 gigawatts, depending on the season, and that power is primarily provided from gas-fired power stations, wind turbines and nuclear plants. ($1 = 0.7609 pounds) (Reporting by Sabina Zawadzki; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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