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Morocco-UK power project confirmed as nationally significant infrastructure

Updated: Apr 24

28 September 2023

  • The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero has confirmed that the Morocco-UK Power Project is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

  • The change would mean the project falls under the Planning Act 2008, requiring a Development Consent Order from the Government rather than planning permission from the local authority.

  • Xlinks will carry out a further round of consultation on its plans before applying for a Development Consent Order next year.

The Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero has confirmed that proposals by Xlinks, a private renewable energy company headquartered in the UK, to connect 3.6GW of low-cost, reliable, renewable power from Morocco to the Great British electricity grid qualify as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, often known as NSIPs, are major infrastructure projects that require development consent to be granted by the relevant Secretary of State through a Development Consent Order. They follow a strict legal process with fixed timescales set out in the Planning Act 2008, which requires projects to carry out public consultation and undergo an independent examination.

The confirmation that the project is a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project means Xlinks will need to carry out further consultation with local authorities, statutory bodies and the community before applying to the Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero for planning permission. This consultation is expected to take place early next year.

Simon Morrish, CEO, Xlinks said:

“This is a major milestone for our project, which provides certainty and clarity over the legal process and timescales for consenting the project. The decision reflects the real difference that our project can make to the country’s climate commitments and energy security.

Our next step will be to consult further with the community to meet the requirements of the Planning Act 2008. We are looking forward to another opportunity to discuss our proposals with people living in the area and will share more details of this later in the year.”

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