Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) and Octopus Energy have backed a UK clean energy start-up seeking to lay subsea cables between the UK and Morocco.

Xlinks said TAQA and Octopus Energy have provided £25m and £5m (€28.3m and €5.6m) respectively in development funding.

As part of the Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project, Xlinks plans to lay the world’s longest high-voltage direct current ( HVDC) subsea cables between the UK and Morocco, passing Portugal, Spain and France. The project will generate 10.5GW of zero-carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of energy.

The new electricity generation and battery storage facilities will be located in Morocco’s Guelmim Oued Noun region and will be connected exclusively to Great Britain via 3,800km HVDC sub-sea cables, to supply 8% of the UK’s electricity.

Simon Morrish, CEO of Xlinks, said: “With this investment and support from our partners TAQA and Octopus, along with the support received from both the UK and Moroccan Governments, we take another step toward achieving that ambition.

“The huge potential of the Morocco – UK Power Project will help the UK accelerate its transition to clean sources of power, increase energy security and reduce consumer bills.”

Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s group CEO and MD, said: “As a champion of low carbon power and water, TAQA’s investment in the Xlinks project shows that we are serious about helping reduce emissions whilst maintaining the security of energy supply that societies depend on.

“We are already working on a large-scale HVDC subsea project in Abu Dhabi, and we own and operate one of the world’s largest solar PV plants. This investment offers the chance to bring both our infrastructure and renewable power expertise to the table to benefit the UK and Morocco.”

Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy, said: “This partnership between Xlinks, TAQA and Octopus enables us to drive forward one of the most visionary energy projects in the world. When people ask ‘how will you power heat pumps and electric cars when it’s not windy?’- this is a big part of the answer.

“This is a new global industry, and the UK and our partners can do it first, helping cement Britain as a leader in the transition to low-cost renewable energy - bringing down bills, powering industry and creating green jobs both in the UK and Morocco.”

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