Power cables coming ashore at Budleigh awaiting final approval
PUBLISHED: 12:15 18 October 2019 | UPDATED: 12:39 21 October 2019
Power cables coming ashore at Budleigh Salterton are awaiting final approval with the date of construction pushed back to 2021
The FAB (France-Alderney-Britain) project is seeking to lay two pairs of underground and underwater electrical cables between substations at Menuel, in France, and near Exeter via the island of Alderney.
The 220 kilometre interconnectors will make landfall on the UK side in Budleigh near Lime Kiln car park.
In 2017, FAB Link Ltd gained outline planning permission for a converter station at Broadclyst and a certificate of lawfulness for an underground cable along Granary Lane, in Budleigh.
Now project leaders are waiting for the final approval from the French energy regulator and construction is expected to get under way next year.
An FAB spokesman said: "The FAB Project aims to increase the amount of electricity traded between the UK and mainland Europe to enhance Britain's energy security, allow greater use of low-carbon electricity and help keep costs down for consumers.
"International infrastructure projects of this nature require long-term development and construction commitment before the benefits can be delivered.
"The sooner we can complete the project, the sooner the benefits will flow to consumers and businesses in both countries."
The five-year project, which is a joint venture between FAB Link Ltd and RTE, will allow 1,400 megawatts of electricity to be shared between France and the UK.
Once the transmission cable makes landfall in Budleigh, it would travel underground along a route parallel to the River Otter, crossing the Otter Valley to a converter at Exeter Airport.
The electricity would then be fed into the National Grid at a newly-installed sub station at Broadclyst, providing mitigation against power shortages.
FAB Link Ltd says currently the two existing interconnectors between the UK and Europe have a capacity of 3,000 megawatts, representing less than five per cent of existing electrical generation.
Construction is expected to be completed by 2025.