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Xlinks holds second public consultation on ground-breaking renewable energy connection plan

Updated: Apr 24

April 17, 2023


  • Second round of public exhibitions to capture local views on proposed project enhancements.

  • Following community feedback at first public exhibitions, project timeline was extended to enable work on enhancements.

  • Proposals are a vital part of the Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, which aims to help lower consumer energy prices, bolster national energy security, and meet decarbonisation targets.

Xlinks, a private renewable energy company headquartered in the UK, today begins a second period of public consultation in Devon regarding its plans to connect 3.6GW of reliable renewable energy from Morocco to the GB electricity grid.

Xlinks’ Renewable Energy Development in Devon will seek to gain planning permission for 14km of underground High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cabling, from landfall at Cornborough Range, and construction of a HVDC to High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) converter station site in close proximity to the existing National Grid substation located between Gammaton and Alverdiscott.

Having worked with National Grid to identify the optimal location to connect to the GB electricity grid, Xlinks has developed its plans in line with the rural character of North Devon. All cables will be installed underground, with land reinstated to its previous use. There will be no permanent infrastructure above-ground along the route.

Upon completion, the Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project will be capable of meeting approximately 8% of Britain’s annual electricity demand, enough renewable energy to power over 7 million British homes.

Xlinks’ second round of public exhibitions in Devon seeks local views on the project enhancements being proposed following community feedback at its first public exhibitions held last year.

Firstly, the company proposes to relocate the converter station site to the old Webbery Showground. This site is closer to the existing National Grid substation and less disruptive to local residents, particularly during construction. Work is being undertaken to ensure that the site is also less visually intrusive and substantially screened from view.

Secondly, the company proposes an alternative route for the underground cable to avoid Abbotsham village. This takes the underground cable away from homes and schools.

Finally, further detail has been made available regarding the proposed construction methods and transport routes employed by the project. These align with the company’s intention to minimise potential disruption during construction, including on local roads.

The second period of public consultation runs from Monday 17th April 2023 until Wednesday 31st May 2023. All responses will be considered ahead of the submission of a full planning application to the Local Planning Authority in summer 2023.

The drop-in public exhibitions are open to all and are being held on:

  • Wednesday 26th April 2023 from 12.30pm to 8.00pm at Huntshaw Parish Hall, Huntshaw, Devon, EX38 7HH

  • Thursday 27th April 2023 from 12.30pm to 8.00pm at Alverdiscott Community Hall, Stoney Cross, Bideford, Devon, EX39 4PZ

  • Wednesday 17th May 2023 from 12.30pm to 8.00pm at Caddsdown Business Support Centre, Caddsdown Industrial Park, Clovelly Road, Bideford, Devon, EX39 3DX

All exhibition material is also available to view online throughout the consultation period at www.xlinks.co/devon.

Nigel Williams, Project Director, HVDC Transmission, Xlinks said: “From day one of our work in Devon, we recognised the need for local input to help us shape our plans, minimise potential disruption during construction, and maximise benefit to the region.

“We were delighted that our first public exhibitions were so well attended and extended our project timeline to carefully consider, and then act upon, feedback from the local community. Consequently, we’ve made some key enhancements to our project proposals and look forward to discussing these at our second public exhibitions and throughout the course of this second round of public consultation.

“While our project can make a real difference to UK energy security and the pursuit of national decarbonisation targets, we consider it equally important to be a good neighbour to the local community and the natural environment, and to explore all opportunities to contribute to social and economic development in Devon.”



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