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The new power line between France and the United Kingdom will pass through the Channel Tunnel

The new power line between France and the United Kingdom will pass through the Channel Tunnel

The new high-voltage power line, which will run within three meters of the Eurostar and Ketling trains on the Channel Tunnel, will be operational this summer.

This will be the third line connecting Europe with the UK.

With a capacity of 1 GW, this line should be able to meet the simultaneous electricity needs of about 750,000 households.

The first two lines were buried in the sea, one with a nominal capacity of 2 GW in 1986 and the other with a nominal capacity of 1 GW at the beginning of last year.

The new route, owned by GetLink (formerly Groupe Eurotunnel), was built at a cost of € 665 million and will be operated by 100% owned ElecLink.

The UK uses surplus French nuclear power

Since the installation of the electrical connections, most of the flow went from France to the United Kingdom, especially at night when the French nuclear power plants were producing significant surplus.

Nuclear power plants are designed to generate a certain amount of electricity when operating, and cannot be easily shut down when demand is low, such as oil or gas power plants.

Elekling says improving supply capacity when sunlight and wind are low will allow both countries to use more electricity from solar and wind generators, and sell surpluses sooner.

The 51km route will connect the UK National Phase Sellindge substation in Kent to the substation in Les Mandarines, Pas de Calais.

New connection to Ireland

Ireland is also seeking a power alliance with France, fearing that its reliance on existing ties with the UK could be increasingly threatened by Brexit. Plans have been announced for a 700 MW connection at a cost of 1 billion euros, with work on the required 575 km of cable starting this year and being completed in 2026.

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Half of the money for the connection from Cork to Britain will come from the EU and the rest from Ireland.

With 51 connections today to neighboring France, cross-border electricity connections have flourished in recent decades.

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