The Anonymous Widower

ElecLink: A Wholly Successful First Week Of Operations

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release from the Getlink Group.

These are the first three paragraphs.

Getlink is delighted with the good first week of commercial operations of its electrical interconnector, ElecLink, marked by the success of the initial auctions and the first transfers of energy through the cable.

The first auctions for short term capacity (day ahead) held since 24 May were met with great success. The entire capacity available was sold, confirming the interest of the sector for this new interconnection. The first monthly auctions will take place from 01 June, for the month of July and will be accessible via the JAO platform.

From an operational perspective, the go-live of the cable was also achieved successfully. For this world’s first, ElecLink delivered an excellent quality of service to its customers.

Note.

  1. Getlink is the manager and operator of the Channel Tunnel.
  2. ElecLink has a capacity of 1,000 MW.
  3. The interconnector was privately-funded.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more privately-funded interconnectors like this, as they increase our energy security and can be a nice little earner for their owners.

June 5, 2022 - Posted by | Energy | , , ,

20 Comments »

  1. On Ofgem’s list of planned interconnectors https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/energy-policy-and-regulation/policy-and-regulatory-programmes/interconnectors (which needs an update), only the Viking Link (currently under construction) is publicly funded. The rest are all private. 1.4GW seems to be the new normal.

    Looks like NSL full capacity is still planned for the 13th, and IFA1 back at full capacity at end year.

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 5, 2022 | Reply

  2. With the French so short of Nuclear Power currently its been used in export mode most of the time as well which isn’t quite what was expected although owners aren’t bothered as long as energy flows one way or the other there earning money.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 5, 2022 | Reply

    • I have a feeling National Grid and others who know about interconnectors, will be putting forward sensible plans, that big infrastructure funds will find attractive to fund.

      I can certainly see NorthConnect between Scotland and Norway being built to allow surplus Scottish wind power to be banked in Norway’s pumped storage system.

      NeuConnect also appears to be on the point of starting construction between Kent and Germany.

      National Grid are also proposing some North South interconnectors.

      I suspect if you are part of the interconnector business, you have a promising future.

      Comment by AnonW | June 5, 2022 | Reply

    • that’s true of all interconnectors since mid April: net flows have been -ive, i.e. exporting power. Very different from this time last year.

      Comment by Peter Robins | June 5, 2022 | Reply

  3. There’s a note on https://www.eleclink.co.uk/eleclink-news-downloads.php that NGESO has been restricting capacity somewhat. All the interconnectors with France continue to be in export mode, as they have been for much of the year.

    Looks like the issue with the Norwegian connection has now been fixed, as the remit is no longer active. This was pumped up to 0.93GW for a while last night, but has since fallen again. Presumably full capacity is not needed atm.

    Comment by Peter Robins | June 14, 2022 | Reply

    • with Dungeness B now off line there is lack of transmission capacity in the SE to support IFA1 and eleclink and meet the local loads at the GSPs i suspect as we are in summer mtce season. I hope NG don’t have to pay them compensation if they are constraining them like they do with wind turbines.

      Good to see the Norwegian i/c is working both ways largely driven when wind is above 5GW but also as the Norwegian market as split apart with Southern Norway commanding much higher pricing now they are tied into the Northern Europe power market by a number of i/c’s there is often the opportunity. That isn’t going down well in Norway although currently being covered off by govt subsidies (they own Statnett and Statkraft anyhow!)

      Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 14, 2022 | Reply

      • The NGESO document the eleclink site points to says: “Where NTC limits submitted by NGESO result in the Interconnector capacity being restricted, NGESO will make payment for such restriction.” though I know nothing about the details.

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 14, 2022

      • Crikey we are already shelling out 100’s millions on constraint payments because Scotland has allowed too many wind farms to be connected that exceed transmission system capacity and now NG wants to resolve that by investing in DC links to middle England. All these costs end up back on the consumers bills.

        If we are serious on net zero this all needs better coordinating not being lead all too often by disparate financial institutions who have worked out how to make money whether they are generating or not.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 14, 2022

      • https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/current-price-watch-surging-wind-pushes-power-prices-negative says: “wind curtailment due to network constraints cost Britain £507 million in 2021, a record high. This jumped from £299 million in 2020, largely due to the increased cost of gas, with gas fired plants called on to support the system when transmission constraints led to wind generation being switched off.” Manifold daftness.

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 14, 2022

    • NSL up to 1.34GW (import) earlier this evening, which is getting towards capacity, so looks like all is well.

      Comment by Peter Robins | June 14, 2022 | Reply

      • so once IFA is working again, total i/c capacity is 7.4GW with the continent +1GW with Ireland – more than nuclear provides these days

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 14, 2022

      • Be interesting to see if we ever run at full export capacity whereas full import capacity is more than likely as the connections are dispersed across Northern Europe.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 15, 2022

      • NG spent 125m on constraint costs in April/May this year. The highest amount was nearly 11m on 4th April or 36GWh removed from the system. Even on that day not all the i/c’s were in export mode because the transmission system is just not designed to shift all this extra power from North Scotland to Southern England where all the i/cs are connected except the Norwegian link. Now its finally available at full capacity be interesting to see what happens next time we have 10GW+ of wind being generated.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 14, 2022

      • yes, I’m afraid the whole system, including pricing, was designed for a world which no longer exists; it all needs an overhaul. NGESO seem to have good plans/proposals, but it all takes time and money to get up and running. They’re talking of introducing ‘node-based’ localised pricing, which should be a big boost to Scotland. The aim being to entice major users, like data centres, to places, like Scotland, where prices are lowest. And SPEN/Octopus recently ran a trial with people getting incentives to use power at times of surplus. Probably to no-one’s surprise, they found consumers are happy to move at least some consumption to times when they have a financial incentive to do so. The gov is supposedly looking into restructuring retail pricing, to try and break the link between gas and electric pricing.

        And I see an extension to W Burton over the winter has been agreed. Hopefully the French will have fixed their nuclear issues by then.

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 15, 2022

      • Norway is priced across six areas for exactly that reason.

        W.Burton just needs to get coal as it was from Russia. Plenty about but try chartering a big ship not easy and rates through the roof so lets see how quickly they can rebuild stocks.

        Also just to add to problems the LNG plant in Texas that had the explosion is going to be out of commission for many months and thats forced spot price of gas through the roof today. Fortunately we have long term agreement with Qatar so probably won’t hurt our supply by the Europeans have been sourcing it from there and using our regasification capacity and gas interconnectors to help with Russian substitution.

        Its staggering how naïve some countries have been over energy supplies.

        Comment by Nicholas Lewis | June 15, 2022

      • ah well, things are always much easier with hindsight 🙂

        According to https://marketwatch.zenergi.co.uk/market-analysis/comfortable-supply-outlook-for-the-summer-08-06-2022/ “UK gas storage levels are at 91%, while the EU has now passed the 50% mark.” But UK doesn’t have much gas storage (not really needed with N Sea), and the EU still has a way to go to its 80% goal. The crunch will come as winter moves in.

        There was an article a couple of weeks ago in the Economist on BASF’s massive plant in Ludwigshafen, which is heavily dependent on gas piped from Russia. “If pressure in the pipeline that feeds the giant complex drops below 50% of its normal flow, the whole place will have to shut down. That in turn will cause chaos further down the chemical-industry supply chain.” They have plans to move away from fossil fuels, but none of that can be done overnight.

        NSL currently supplying capacity 1.4GW, 4% of current demand.

        Comment by Peter Robins | June 16, 2022

  4. Sounds like with all this spare electricity, we ought to get started on building the NorthConnect interconnector between Scotland and Norway. SSE are or were one of the partners.

    It appears they’ve built a web site and have now secured backing from the EU.

    https://northconnect.co.uk/

    Comment by AnonW | June 14, 2022 | Reply

  5. Eleclink has been out of action for several days now, though no cause is given on the BM remit messages.

    Comment by Peter Robins | August 2, 2022 | Reply

    • It had a planned outage between 23/7 and 25/7 but didn’t get used again until 28/7-28/7 then went off line again. There was a news Item that advised NG was restricting the throughput during late May due to grid constraints so this maybe a current issue. NG never anticipated such high level of export flows this time of year to France and they may have summer outgas ongoing that are constraining how much power can be sent towards Sellindge. Poked around on ELECLINK site and found the reason they are offline is due “network security curtailment” which is driven by NG or the French TSO. Should be back online 5/8.

      Comment by Nicholas Lewis | August 2, 2022 | Reply

      • Seems odd for it to be totally off, when IFA/IFA-2 are pumping 1GW each towards FR (as they’ve done for weeks now).

        Comment by Peter Robins | August 2, 2022


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