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: 12th Mar 2015
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
This is our decision on the IPA of the NSN interconnector.

  • Published: 6th Mar 2015
  • Closed: 2nd May 2015
  • Consultations and responses
  • 20 Associated documents
We are consulting on our minded-to position on our Initial Project Assessment of the FAB Link, IFA2, Viking Link and Greenlink interconnector projects. This considers the need for the four projects and interactions between them, and with the NSN...

  • Published: 17th Dec 2014
  • Closed: 3rd Feb 2015
  • Consultations and responses
  • 15 Associated documents
We are consulting on our minded-to position on our Initial Project Assessment of the NSN interconnector to Norway. It considers the need for the interconnector and interactions between this project and other potential near-term projects. We have decided...

  • Published: 2nd Dec 2014
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
This is our final decision on the design of the cap and floor regulatory regime for project Nemo – the proposed electricity interconnector between Great Britain and Belgium. This concludes our consultation process for Nemo and finalises our work on the...

  • Published: 16th Oct 2014
  • Decisions
  • 1 Associated documents
This letter is our decision on the eligibility of five interconnector projects that were submitted to us as part of our cap and floor assessment process.

  • Published: 3rd Oct 2014
  • Open letters and correspondence
  • 1 Associated documents
An update on Ofgem’s timing for publication of the Nemo decision.

  • Published: 1st Oct 2014
  • Guidance
  • 0 Associated documents
The new cap and floor regulatory regime for electricity interconnectors has attracted five potential projects in the first application window. We are now in the process of assessing if they fit our eligibility criteria.

  • Published: 16th Sep 2014
  • Decisions
  • 6 Associated documents
We have, in agreement with the Commission de Régulation de l'Energie, updated our original decision to grant ElecLink an exemption to reflect amendments requested by the European Commission.

  • Published: 6th Aug 2014
  • Decisions, Guidance
  • 2 Associated documents
We have decided to roll out the cap and floor regulatory regime to new near-term electricity interconnectors. This follows our May 2014 consultation on our proposals.

  • Published: 28th May 2014
  • Factsheets
  • 1 Associated documents
Electricity interconnectors are transmission cables that allow electricity to flow from one country to another. This factsheet explains how they work and how we regulate them in Great Britain.

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