United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Octopus backs plans for 10GW-plus Morocco-UK wind and solar

Octopus Energy and Xlinks plan to deliver power from massive wind and solar project in Morocco to the UK via 3,800km subsea cables

Octopus and Xlinks plan to build 3.5GW of solar PV capacity and 7GW of wind power capacity in the Moroccan desert (pic credit: franckreporter/Getty Images)
Octopus and Xlinks plan to build 3.5GW of solar PV capacity and 7GW of wind power capacity in the Moroccan desert (pic credit: franckreporter/Getty Images)

UK utility Octopus Energy Group has formed a partnership with cable firm Xlinks to deliver power from a 10GW-plus renewable energy project in Morocco to the UK.

The companies plan to build 3.5GW of solar PV capacity and 7GW of wind power capacity in the Moroccan desert.

They would use four 3,800km-long subsea cables to carry the electricity to Devon in south-west England.

The project partners are currently undertaking economic, environmental and archaeological impact assessments. They expect the project will cost about £16 billion (€18.7 billion). They have not confirmed its ownership structure.

Octopus and Xlinks aim to start commercial operations in 2027.

The companies believe the project could deliver power at £48/MWh (€56/MWh) – slightly higher than the rates secured by the cheapest projects in the UK’s most recent tender round.

If they cannot secure a contract for difference (CfD) – the UK’s main support system for renewable energy projects – the  developers would aim to secure a merchant route to market, an Octopus spokeswoman said. 

Windpower Monthly understands that renewable energy projects built in foreign countries that supply power to the UK grid are not eligible to compete for a CfD. However, the UK’s department of business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) is believed to be keeping the project under review. Windpower Monthly has contacted BEIS for comment.

Octopus and Xlinks are also exploring power offtake rights for Octopus

Project director Nigel WIlliams oversaw North Sea Link, the subsea interconnector that links the UK and Norway.

Xlinks added that the project would create engineering jobs in both the UK and Morocco.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles
and free email bulletins.

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Partner content