Rabat – The UK-based renewable energy solutions company Xlinks is planning on connecting Morocco and the UK with a 3,800-kilometer underwater electricity transmission cable.
According to pv magazine, a leading photovoltaic trade website, Xlinks is planning to build a 10.5 gigawatt (GW) of renewable energy complex in Morocco, to harvest both wind and solar energy. It will link to a 5 GW/20 GWh (gigawatt hours) storage unit in the country. In turn, this energy will be sold to the UK through the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission cable, connecting Morocco to several locations in Wales and Devon, UK.
Xlinks CEO Simon Morrish explained to pv magazine that the company is already in “discussions with Moroccan community leaders and government regarding the exact sites of the solar farm and working on permitting with the relevant departments.”
Morrish explained that the total energy will consist of 7 GW for solar and 3.5 GW for wind capacity.
The CEO hopes that the first 1.8 GW cable will be active in the beginning of 2027, while the second cable should launch in 2029. The 3,800-kilometer cable will consist of four cables in total, and will make up the longest underwater power transmission link in the world.
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“For its deployment, three different routes were considered and the one not touching territorial waters reached depths of 3,000 meters, so we opted for the shallowest route that goes no deeper than 700 meters,” Morrish said.
As such, the underwater cable will cross the territorial waters of France, Portugal, and Spain, on four separate occasions.
Xlinks notes that despite the fact that solar and wind energy are vital for reducing the UK’s emissions, “solar generation in the UK is very low during winter when the demand for energy is highest, and wind output can vary greatly from week to week.”
For Xlinks, the obvious solution is “Locating the solar and wind generation [in] the Sahara.” Since “The Sahara benefits from high levels of solar irradiance throughout the year,” the company can ”reliably generate [electricity] every day, including during winter.”
As for wind energy, “The chosen locations for the wind farms benefit from a reliable Atlantic wind which is part of a different weather system to the UK,” explains the company’s website.