Plans are afoot for the implementation of Xlinks solar & wind power project in Morocco, which will produce a total of 10.5 GW of electricity that will be evacuated to the UK via a 3,800 km undersea high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission line.
The power project made up of 7 GW of solar capacity (larger than the 1.65 GWp Benban complex in Egypt) and 3.5 GW of wind, will be developed near Tan-tan in the region of Guelmim-Oued Noun in the southwestern region of the North African country by Xlinks, a UK company looking to address the three key challenges associated with the transition to a low carbon economy; securing low-cost power, from sustainable sources whilst maintaining a reliable electricity network.
“We are currently in discussions with Moroccan community leaders and government regarding the exact sites of the project, and we are also working on the necessary permits with the relevant departments,” said the company’s CEO, Simon Morrish.
The project will be developed along with a 25 gigawatt-hours battery storage system.
The longest subsea power transmission link in the world
According to the project developer, the transmission line comprising four separate cables will be the longest subsea power transmission link in the world.
It will cross international waters and dip into the territorial waters of European countries such as Portugal, Spain, and France on four occasions. Losses along the line are estimated between 10 and 12%, but these are justified, according to Morrish, by a very low LCOE for the solar and wind power plants in Morocco.
Xinks is planning to hold international tenders for the project construction and expects to bring online the first 1.8 GW cable at the beginning of 2027 and a second cable two years later.
When fully completed the approximately US$ 25M project will deliver 26 TWh of firm and flexible power to the UK each year, the equivalent of 7.5% of the country’s electricity demand, and significantly contribute to net-zero targets.