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Green energy connector between Kent and France which could stabilise energy prices now running thanks to leading property consultancy

A new system to exchange green energy between Kent and northern France to help the UK achieve net-zero is now up and running thanks to a leading property consultancy’s work to support the installation of 10 miles of underground cables.

The ElecLink HVDC interconnector is a long system of cables passing 400,000 volts of electricity between substations at Sellindge in Kent and Peuplingues near Calais in France through the Channel Tunnel – unlike other interconnectors which run along the sea floor.

Leading property consultancy Fisher German was responsible for negotiating with landowners affected by the project so that key infrastructure like cables and monitoring stations could be installed from the tunnel entrance in Folkestone right up to Sellindge.

ElecLink will ensure that when demand for energy is high and renewables like wind and solar cannot generate enough power to meet that demand, such as on calm and overcast days, there is another way for green electricity to be instantly accessible to the grid.

It is hoped ElecLink will make the UK less reliant on imports for energy production, and may eventually result in prices becoming more stable.

James Cole, Associate at Fisher German, was proud of the role the firm played in making ElecLink a reality.

He said: “For ElecLink to happen, around 10 miles of underground cabling and associated monitoring stations had to be installed on land owned by a wide variety of landowners between Folkestone and Sellindge.

“Most of the cabling ran alongside the M20, and this meant we dealt with landowners like National Highways, HS1, and lots of private individuals too.

“We started negotiations with all affected landowners back in 2015, so it’s been a long process. However, thanks to Fisher German’s expertise in negotiating land rights, we reached agreements with every single landowner so no compulsory purchase orders (CPOs) were required.

“This is a fantastic result for a project of this size, and meant ElecLink could be delivered much faster than if CPOs were needed.

“Construction was able to start in 2019, and after months of testing, ElecLink is now ready to supply the country with electricity.

“It’s really pleasing to see the hard work pay off, and we are looking forward to seeing the difference ElecLink will make to the UK’s energy supply.”

Fisher German is also beginning to work on installing cabling for new interconnector projects to other areas in France, as well as Belgium and the Netherlands.

James added: “Interconnectors are going to play a vital role in providing energy for the grid as we transition towards a completely renewable way of producing power.

“They will not only help the UK meet its energy demands, but our country will also be able to help France, Belgium and the Netherlands meet any unexpected surges in demand too.

“Fisher German is actively involved in a variety of projects aimed towards delivering net-zero, and our infrastructure and sustainable energy teams are proud to be right at the heart of producing green energy for the UK.”

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