An £18bn project to connect Britain with a huge wind and solar farm in the Sahara through an undersea cable has been delayed by at least a year.
The energy startup Xlinks hopes to provide 8% of Britain’s energy supplies through a 3,800km (2,360-mile) cable linking Morocco with the UK, powering 7m homes by 2030. The cable transporting power from the site will hug the Moroccan coastline, then pass alongside Portugal, northern Spain and France before looping around the Isles of Scilly to terminate at Alverdiscott in north Devon, where Xlinks has already agreed to 1.8 gigawatt connections
The project had been expected to begin generating power by 2027. However, that target date now appears unlikely.
When the Morocco-UK link is complete, Xlinks expects to generate 20 hours of reliable renewable energy a day using the Sahara’s sunshine and breezy night-time conditions.
The plan is to build almost 12m solar panels and 530 wind-farms over the 960 sq km area of desert. The site, in the Guelmim-Oued Noun region, will also have 20 gigawatt hours of battery storage.
What the Guardian article fails to point out is that part of Guelmim-Oued Noun is in the disputed area of Western Sahara claimed by the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.