Building a 10.5 GW wind and solar complex in Morocco and selling the electricity produced by this huge power station to the UK is the bet of the British company Xlinks. The energy company, which has just created a subsidiary in Casablanca, Xlinks Maroc, is in talks with the government concerning the sites for the installation of the solar power plant.
Morocco is becoming the new hunting ground for investors in the field of renewable energies. It must be said that the Kingdom has established itself in recent years as an attractive destination for solar and wind power generation. If until then, investors have been content to produce on site and sell their production there, the British company Xlinks, for her part, sees very far with the key to an unprecedented project. The English energy company, who counts among the members of its board of directors Paddy Padmanathan, the CEO of the Saudi energy giant ACWA Power, plans, in fact, to build a 10.5 GW wind and solar complex in Morocco and sell the electricity produced by this huge power plant to the UK. This should be possible with a 3,800 km high voltage direct current transmission line connected to sites in Wales and Devon, according to company CEO Simon Morrish, who spoke to pv magazine about this ambitious project and how it could become feasible. “Xlinks is in talks with the Moroccan government regarding the exact locations of the solar power plant and is working on obtaining permits with the relevant departments,” Xlinks CEO Simon Morrish told the solar market magazine.
It must be said that this pharaonic project does not seem to paralyze the British energy company, who is organizing international calls for tenders for the construction of the power station and putting in place the first 1.8 GW cable at the beginning of 2027 and a second cable two years later. The huge complex is said to be connected to the UK power grid in Alverdiscott, Devon, and Pembroke, Wales, via a 3,800 km high-voltage direct current transmission line, which the developer says will consist of four cables separate and would be the longest submarine electricity transmission link in the world, reports pv magazine, noting that the cable will cross international waters and dive into the territorial waters of European countries such as Portugal, Spain and France, which, according to the developer, should make it easier to obtain building permits. “This means that we are entering the territorial waters of Spain, Portugal and France and we are in the process of starting the corresponding approval requests”, Underlined the CEO of Xlinks who specifies that his company is currently in talks with three big European cable manufacturers for the construction of the transmission lines.
When completed, the project will deliver 26 TWh of sustainable and flexible energy to the UK each year. “The project is expected to represent 7% of UK electricity demand and contribute significantly to the achievement of ‘net zero’ targets,” Morrish told pv magazine. Xlinks plans to sell the power to the UK grid under a contract for difference. “We hope to complete a bilateral negotiation with the UK Department for Trade, Energy and Industrial Strategy,” Morrish said. In total, Xlinks plans to invest around £ 18 billion in the project, according to pv magazine. In the meantime, a company carrying the project was created in Casablanca, last March, called Xlinks Maroc.