The Nautilus Multi-Purpose Interconnector is being developed by National Grid Ventures. Interconnectors are high voltage cables which connect the electricity systems of neighbouring countries. Multi-Purpose Interconnectors could enable interconnection and offshore wind to work together as one combined asset.
The Nautilus project proposes to connect up to 1.4 gigawatts of offshore wind to the UK and Belgium through subsea electricity cables. The cables would travel between the two countries whilst connecting to offshore wind farm/s at sea, powering up to 1.4 million UK homes. This would then connect to an onshore converter station at each end of the connection to transform high voltage direct current into high voltage alternating current so that the energy can be fed into the transmission network of each country.
|Illustration of a Multi-Purpose Interconnector (click image to view full size)
The Secretary of State has exercised powers under section 35 of the Planning Act 2008 to direct that the Nautilus project be treated as development for which development consent is required and the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project regime is applicable. The developer will as a result be required to apply for development consent where the final decision whether to give permission will be made by the relevant Secretary of State through the granting of a Development Consent Order.
Non-statutory consultation – September to October 2021
East Suffolk Council and Suffolk County Council have also written to National Grid PLC to seek coordination of the Nautilus project with other potentially forthcoming projects.