Electricity interconnectors

Electricity interconnectors are the physical links which allow the transfer of electricity across borders.

Interconnectors derive their revenues from congestion revenues. Congestion revenues are dependent on the existence of price differentials between markets at either end of the interconnector. European legislation governs how capacity is allocated. It requires all interconnection capacity to be allocated to the market via market based methods, i.e. auctions. It also includes specific conditions on how revenues are used.

Britain’s electricity market currently has 4GW of interconnector capacity:

  • 2GW to France (IFA)
  • 1GW to the Netherlands (BritNed)
  • 500MW to Northern Ireland (Moyle)
  • 500MW to the Republic of Ireland (East West).

Under the present regulatory regime based on EU and GB requirements, there are two general routes for interconnector investment:

  1. a regulated route under the 'cap and floor' regime. This is a relatively new regime, we decided to roll out the cap and floor regulatory regime to new near-term electricity interconnectors in May 2014.Through the cap and floor approach developers identify, propose and build interconnectors and there is a cap and floor mechanism to regulate how much money a developer can earn once in operation. If applying for a cap and floor regime developers have to comply with all aspects of European legislation on cross border electricity infrastructure. More information about the design of the cap and floor regime can be found in the documents below.
  2. as an alternative to the cap and floor model, developers can still seek exemptions from regulatory requirements. Under this route developers would face the full upside and downside of the investment and would usually apply for an exemption from certain aspects of European legislation in order to increase the safeguards for the business case of their investment.

Existing and future interconnector projects

Below is a list of existing and future interconnectors.

As with other major infrastructure projects future interconnectors face a range of challenges that can impact on timing of delivery. The estimated delivery dates shown below reflects our understanding of developers existing delivery plans for future interconnectors.

PROJECT NAME DEVELOPERS CONNECTING COUNTRY CAPACITY CAP AND FLOOR REGIME? EXEMPTION? DELIVERY DATE/ ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE
IFA National Grid Interconnector Holdings (NGIH) and RTE France 2000MW No No 1986
Moyle Mutual Energy Ireland 500MW* No No 2002
BritNed NGIH and TenneT Netherlands 1000MW No Yes (Second Package) 2011
EWIC EirGrid Ireland 500MW No No 2012
ElecLink Star Capital Partners Limited and Groupe Eurotunnel France 1000MW No Yes (Third Package) 2019
NEMO NGIH and Elia Belgium 1000MW Yes No 2019
NSN NGIH and Statnett Norway 1400MW Yes No 2020
FAB Link Transmission Investment and RTE France 1400MW Yes No 2022
IFA2 NGIH and RTE France 1000MW Yes No 2020
Viking NGIH and Energinet.dk Denmark 1400MW Yes No 2022
Greenlink Element Power Ireland 500MW Yes No 2021

* Moyle has been operating at around half of its normal 500MW capacity due to subsea cable faults since 2012.

Publications and updates

  • Published: 18th Jun 2021
  • Decisions
  • 9 Associated documents
Decision on changes to the electricity interconnector licence held by Greenlink Interconnector Limited (GIL) and the electricity interconnector licence held by NeuConnect Britain Limited (NBL)

  • Published: 8th Jun 2021
  • Decisions
  • 11 Associated documents
This letter sets out our decision to make licence changes that provide a mechanism for cap and floor interconnector projects to request a later regime start in the event of pre-operational delays caused by force majeure events.

  • Published: 31st Mar 2021
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
Decision on Interest During Construction (IDC) rates to apply in 2021-22 to offshore transmission projects and interconnectors granted the cap and floor regime.

  • Published: 31st Mar 2021
  • Closed: 28th Apr 2021
  • Consultations and responses
  • 4 Associated documents
This is our consultation on the Final Project Assessment for Greenlink. We are looking for views on our cost and technical assessment of the FPA. Alongside the consultation is a decision letter on the outcome of a needs case review for the Greenlink...

  • Published: 26th Mar 2021
  • Guidance
  • 3 Associated documents
A guidance document in relation to the cost assessment elements of the interconnectors cap and floor regime.

  • Published: 24th Mar 2021
  • Closed: 26th Apr 2021
  • Consultations and responses
  • 18 Associated documents
This consultation seeks views on our proposed approach to providing a means for cap and floor interconnector projects that have encountered delays, caused by force majeure events, during the pre-operational period to request a later regime start date for...

  • Published: 1st Mar 2021
  • Charts and data
  • 1 Associated documents
This statement details the total congestion income and the use made of that income for the EWIC, IFA and Nemo Link electricity interconnectors in 2020.

  • Published: 25th Feb 2021
  • Closed: 12th Apr 2021
  • Consultations and responses
  • 13 Associated documents
This is our statutory consultation on updates to the licences for two planned interconnectors, Greenlink and NeuConnect, to implement the cap and floor regime.

  • Published: 28th Jan 2021
  • Decisions
  • 0 Associated documents
In light of the new Trade and Cooperation Agreement (the “TCA”) agreed between the UK and the EU and following the UK’s departure from the EU, the NRAs discontinue the assessment of Aquind’s exemption request.

  • Published: 18th Dec 2020
  • Closed: 29th Jan 2021
  • Consultations and responses
  • 18 Associated documents
This is a joint consultation by Ofgem and CRE on the AQUIND interconnector’s request for a partial exemption from elements of Regulation (EU) 2019/943.

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