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Projects: FAB

The France-Alderney-Britain (“FAB”) project is a cable that will connect France and Britain via the Channel Island of Alderney. The project is being developed by Transmission Investment together with the French grid company, RTE, and Alderney-based tidal power developer, ARE.

Studies undertaken by Transmission Investment and RTE have confirmed that the requirement for interconnector capacity between Britain and France greatly exceeds the amount currently available from the existing 2000MW interconnector; a facility that has not been extended for almost 30 years. As a result the addition of new interconnectors between France and Britain is economically attractive under almost all scenarios.

Why is it important that the current shortage of capacity between Britain and France be alleviated? The first reason is that by doing this the cost of electricity can be lowered since cheaper generation in one country can replace more expensive generation in the other; the benefit from this alone more than offsets the cost of the cable. The second reason is that if either Britain or France experiences a shortfall in generation the other country can provide emergency assistance, increasing the reliability of electricity supplies. This may be particularly important in Britain where a large amount of generation is expected to close in the near future.

Not only does FAB help to relieve the shortage of interconnector capacity, it will also allow renewable generation on Alderney to sell its output to Britain and France. This is important because the waters around Alderney are one of Europe’s best resources for tidal-stream power generation, with over 3000MW of generation possible, but without a project such as FAB this resource cannot be developed.

Transmission Investment and ARE have formed a joint venture company (FAB Link Ltd.) to develop the British and Alderney parts of the project. FAB Link Ltd. has in turn signed a Joint Development Agreement with RTE which will develop the French part of the project.

FAB has been selected by the European Commission as a Project of Common Interest (“PCI”). This means that it can benefit from faster and more efficient permit granting procedures and improved regulatory treatment. It also allows financial support from the Connecting Europe Facility (“CEF”), where a €5.85 billion budget has been allocated to assist in the development and construction of international gas and electricity projects between 2014 and 2020.

Construction of FAB is due to begin in early 2018 and, under the connection agreement signed with National Grid Electricity Transmission plc (“NGET”), connection to the UK grid is scheduled in late 2020.

For more information please see:
www.fablink.net

For more information about our partners please see:
The French grid company, RTE: www.rte-france.com/en
The developer of Alderney’s renewable resources, ARE: www.are.gg

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