The BritNed interconnector, the first power line linking UK and the Netherlands has successfully gone live, according to National Grid.
 
In a statement, the UK transmission system operator (TSO) said the 1000 MW high voltage connection between the Isle of Grain in Kent and Maasvlakte near Rotterdam will transmit power in both directions, driven by supply and demand patterns and by price differentials between the two power markets. BritNed was completed on time and within the budget of GBP500m ($802m), said National Grid.
 
BritNed is a joint venture between National Grid and TenneT, the Dutch TSO and is the first electricity connection between UK and Europe in since the commissioning of the IFA link with France 25 years ago. 
 
ABB has been responsible for producing and laying the 450kV, 250km cable on behalf of BritNed.
 
This commercial, or ‘non-socialised’ interconnector, is funded and operated independently from National Grid and TenneT’s regulated businesses and allows 100 per cent third-party-access for all market participants.
 
Customers have open access to the capacity through a combination of ‘implicit’ auctions (day ahead) facilitated by APX-ENDEX, and BritNed’s ‘explicit’ auctions (annual, monthly, intraday). This approach gives customers real choice about how they bid for capacity and ensures that BritNed supports the ambitions for greater transparency in the European energy markets.
 
Nick Winser, executive director of National Grid said: “Moving more power across national borders means we can use the full potential of renewable energy from wind – making it easier to import when wind is not available and export when there is a surplus”
 
Chris Huhne, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said: “Renewables win as it means surplus wind power can be easily shared. Consumers win as a single European market puts pressure on prices. And more new cables are planned so by 2020 we could have over 10 GW of additional electricity flowing under the North Sea.”
 
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