CRE rejects GridLink’s 1.4 GW investment request

4C Offshore | Rameeza Haq Duggal
By: 04/02/2022 CRE
The French energy regulator CRE has rejected GridLink Interconnector’s investment request on doubts related to Brexit uncertainties.

The project was granted the European Project of Common Interest (PCI) status in 2017. According to Article 12 of the TEN-E Regulation, PCI project promoters are authorized to apply for the project investment from the national regulatory authorities concerned. The authorities will take decision on the allocation of invest cost within 6 months of the investment request.

GridLink project’s case, the developer submitted an investment request to CRE and Ofgem in November 2020, based on the TEN-E Regulation. However, since the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020, the TEN-E Regulation no longer applies in the UK. Therefore, both the energy regulators considered that it was no longer possible to take coordinated decisions on GridLink's request.

GridLink submitted a new investment request to CRE only on 17 March 2021. CRE concluded that the costs and benefits of another interconnector with UK are quite unclear, while the uncertainties resulting from Brexit remain strong.

GridLink is a 1.4 GW HVDC interconnector spanning 160 km, scheduled to go online by 2025. The 525 kV link has already obtained planning permission for the construction of the converter station and associated works at Kingsnorth in Kent from Medway Council.

Meanwhile, another interconnector between the UK and France, Aquind, has been denied approval by the UK government on grounds of environmental concerns. Currently, the UK and France share 3 GW of capacity through IFA and IFA2, and the 1 GW ElecLink is under construction.

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