A CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY PARTNERSHIP
Bringing geothermal and hydro-electrical power from Iceland to the UK – delivering commerce, infrastructure and employment – to time and to budget.
- 1 Providing large scale, low cost, reliable, low carbon energy to the UK
- 2 Providing Iceland with 4-6% increase to its GDP
- 3 Providing a world class manufacturing facility
ATLANTIC SUPERCONNECTION STARTED DEVELOPING THE SUPERCONNECTION IN 2012 AND THE SUPERCONNECTION FACTORY IN 2016. SINCE THEN ATLANTIC SUPERCONNECTION HAS PROVEN THAT THE SUPERCONNECTION IS TECHNICALLY POSSIBLE AND IS READY TO HEAD TO FINANCIAL CLOSE ON BOTH PROJECTS …..
Atlantic SuperConnection is developing:
o a c.1500km subsea High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable to bring 1.2GW of baseload geothermal and hydroelectric power from Iceland to the UK;
o bringing low carbon power to approximately two million British homes at a price below all competing low carbon sources – wind, solar, nuclear, tidal …; while
o stabilising providing Iceland with increased grid security as well as an increase to its GDP of 4-6%; and
THE SUPERCONNECTION FACTORY:
o a world class leading HVDC subsea cable factory in the North East of England;
o bringing a new manufacturing capability to the UK together with jobs and economic growth for the region.
In 2008, the Climate Change Act introduced a legally binding target to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to at least 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The UK confirmed is climate change commitments by signing the Paris Agreement in November 2016 and this was again confirmed in the Queen’s Speech in June 2017. To meet these commitments the UK will have to decarbonise the lion’s share of its electricity by 2030, and as part of this commitment it has agreed to close all coal plant by 2025.
Energy demand in the UK is forecast to grow by 1.4% per annum to 2030. Even the most conservative projections show a 4% increase from 2016 figures by 2035.
This demand growth combined with the planned reduction in existing generation capacity means the UK is facing a material reduction in ‘plant margin’ (the excess of generation capacity over maximum demand) over the coming years. As a result, significant investment in new generating capacity is needed and the need to address climate change requires a focus on generation from low-carbon sources.
Iceland is ideally placed to provide the UK with a proven, cost competitive and reliable baseload and peaking supply from operating and undeveloped hydro and geothermal energy. Iceland currently generates 100% of its electricity from these low carbon energy resources for domestic and industrial use, and is estimated to only be producing about one-third of its total potential energy generation capacity.
The unique attributes of a connection with Iceland - the capability of bringing very low carbon, reliable baseload and peaking electricity to UK consumers at a price below other low carbon sources – strongly supports the development of the SuperConnection. ASC believes that there is no other project currently under consideration that can deliver all of these benefits.
POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR THE PROJECT
Following ASC’s initial development of the SuperConnection, in 2012, under the stewardship of Charles Hendry as Minister of Energy, the Icelandic Government and UK Government entered into a Memorandum of Understanding “…to explore the possibility of developing an electricity interconnection between Iceland and the UK…” .
Between 2012 and 2015, ASC continued developing the SuperConnection. On 28 October 2015 the then UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, met with the then Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmunder Davio Gunnlaugsson and they agreed to explore further the SuperConnection. Heads of terms were signed to establish the Iceland Energy Task Force for Iceland and the UK to consider the SuperConnection. The Task Force issued its Joint Statement in July 2016, which was supportive of the SuperConnection. The Task Force has been reconstituted in 2017 and discussions are continuing between the UK and Icelandic Government.
Through the recent changing political landscape in Iceland Atlantic SuperConnection has maintained and built new strong relationships with the Icelandic Ministers. Atlantic SuperConnection believes that there is largely cross-party support in Iceland for the SuperConnection .
ASC is looking to secure a CfD for the SuperConnection, so that the SuperConnection comes on-line by 2025 all the coal plant have to be shut down in line with the UK Government’s Kyoto and Paris Accord commitments. Such UK Government support through a CfD is key for the SuperConnection to progress. However no other assistance is required from the Icelandic or UK Government for the SuperConnection to move ahead.
The development of the project is following a typical infrastructure capital investment program as set out below:
2014 to 2016
Deciding on and selecting:
- - Cable route and design
- - Cable supplier options
- - EPC Contractor options
- - Connection options
- - Revenue models
- - Funding models
- - Route and cable design
- - Preferred contractors
- - Revenue model and contracts
- - Connection Agreements
- - Debt & Equity Funding
2019 to 2024
- - Cable manufacture
- - Cable laying
- - Cable connection
- - Project Finance compliance
- - Revenue contracts
- - OPEX
- - New energy supply options
- - Debt Finance
THE DEVELOPMENT OF HVDC TECHNOLOGY CAN BE TRACED BACK AS FAR AS THE 1880S. HOWEVER, THE MODERN FORM OF HVDC TRANSMISSION USES TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED IN SWEDEN AND GERMANY IN THE 1930S WITH THE FIRST COMMERCIAL INSTALLATIONS IN THE SOVIET UNION AND SWEDEN IN THE 1950s.
Today HVDC is only used in point-to-point connections and requires conversion from alternating current (“AC”) to HVDC and back again at each end point via a converter station as most onshore electricity grids are AC based. The conversion from standard AC to HVDC, and vice versa, is technically the most complicated part of the entire process. Fortunately our converter stations will be located on land, making them easier to maintain. The VSC converter stations, which we will use due to a smaller footprint and increased weather resistance, are well established.
For long distance bulk electrical power transmission, HVDC transmission is far superior technology to AC systems for several reasons:
• the efficiency of HVDC is only limited by the design of the cable (both conductor and insulator) and the operating temperature.
• HVDC transmission can achieve very low transmission losses, using generated electrical energy more efficiently and making it very economical;
• for submarine power cables, HVDC avoids the heavy currents required to charge and discharge the cable capacitance each cycle;
• HVDC allows asynchronous AC grids or AC grids with different frequencies to be connected, improving the stability and economy of each grid;
• the power flow through an HVDC cable is fully controllable in either direction and has inherent overload capability that can be actively used for peak supply. This facilitates effective stabilisation of a network against disturbances due to rapid changes in power; and
• HVDC (particularly XLPE) cables are unobtrusive and environmentally friendly.
THE SUPERCONNECTION FACTORY
HIGH VOLTAGE CABLE PRODUCTION IN THE NORTH EAST OF ENGLAND
Atlantic SuperConnection has recognised the capacity issues in the global market for HVDC cabling. As such, as a parallel project, it is developing a world class manufacturing HVDC cable factory in the North East of England.
The SuperConnection Factory will be a joint venture with an existing and world leading HVDC subsea cable manufacturer.
The SuperConnection Factory will be built in a port in the North East of England. The enormous HVDC cables require direct access to very large ships for transportation and export. We have been working with the local authorities in the region on this exciting development.
This exciting development would provide:
• significant investment in the North East of England,
• the UK with a strategically important high tech manufacturing capability that it does not currently possess,
• hundreds of jobs and economic growth for the region, and
• import substitution and export opportunities for the UK
ASC is currently undertaking an assessment of the ports in the North East of England to find the best sites for the SuperConnection Factory.
ASC is currently in the process of obtaining bids from HVDC cable manufacturers and HVDC converter stations in relation to our Project.
Edmund has over 30 years of financial services experience in private equity and debt markets, including leadership positions in banking, private equity, pensions, insurance and debt investment.
He trained at Bankers Trust Co in New York, following which he was appointed a Director of Hambros Bank in 1991; Chief Executive of Hambro European Ventures in 1994; led the 1998 buyout and formation of Duke Street Capital; and was responsible in 2000 for creating and building Duke Street Capital Debt Management.
Fiona is an international energy expert with over 20 years experience of the international energy markets, including development, structuring, EPCs, international legal and regulatory development and compliance, licensing and financing.
She is recognised as an expert in the development and financing of nuclear projects by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). She has also worked in the oil and gas industry and other forms of electricity generation, including hydro, solar and coal.
Matt is an expert in Oceanography and has been an advisor for Atlantic SuperConnection since 2013. He led our work on the hydrographic surveying and HVDC power cables.
Matt is currently working toward a PhD on Undersea Cable Route Optimisation. Previously Matt undertook a Masters in Oceanography at the University of Southampton before joining the Royal Navy.