Octopus Energy Group has entered a financial and strategic partnership with Xlinks, the company behind a project to link the UK with solar power in Morocco.
Announced in September 2021, the Xlinks project is to see a solar-plus-wind site in the Moroccan desert supply 3.6GW of clean power to the UK for an average of 20 hours a day. This will be enabled by four 3,800km long subsea cables.
Today’s investment announcement marks the beginning of the partnership between Xlinks and Octopus, with further investments under discussion.
The two are also exploring potential offtaking rights for Octopus and an agreement that would see Octopus’ tech platform KrakenFlex used to increase value to consumers, and the opportunity to power millions of heat pumps all year round with cheap green electricity.
Once running, Xlinks is expected to deliver power at £48/MWh, with the project expected to become operational in 2027. It is currently in the development phase, undertaking economic, environmental and archaeological impact assessments.
The project is to have a total capacity of 10.5GW, with a 5GW/20GWh battery facility to help create a near-constant source of flexible and predictable renewable energy.
"This project is magic because it’s all proven technology - on a huge and ambitious scale. The renewables revolution has not just begun, it’s now accelerating at an unprecedented pace for the good of people and the planet," Greg Jackson, founder of Octopus Energy Group, said. Jackson himself personally invested in the project a number of years ago.
Xlinks also has plans to create an export-led cable manufacturing industry in Britain via dedicated cable supply system company XLCC, which will support the manufacturing of the HVDC interconnector needed for the project.
Last year, Current± caught up with Xlinks' CEO Simon Morrish to discuss how the project is an “overwhelmingly compelling solution” to the UK’s need for baseload power.