The installation of the 140-km cable was accomplished at a cost of $785 million. It connects two HVDC (High-Voltage Direct Current) stations, one in Richborough, UK and the other in Herdersbrug, Belgium.
The project will provide energy resources for both countries in case either of them faces a shortage issue. Electricity will flow in both directions, depending on the demand and supply of each country. Therefore, it will establish security for both Belgium and UK. The power cable is operated by UK's National Grid Interconnectors and Belgian energy provider Elia.
During the first period of its operation, it is expected that UK demands will be much higher as most of nuclear plants of the country are not operating currently.
The installation had to address severe issues like the 1,200 potential explosives, many of them deriving from the WW2, that were found on the seabed and beaches between UK and Belgium. Nevertheless, the project was succeeded in time and under budget.
The link, that was named Nemo, will become UK's unique electricity interconnector with Belgium and the first one to Europe since 2011. UK has another 4 electricity interconnectors with France, Netherlands, Ireland and Northern Ireland. The development of new connections is crucial and highly associated with the manipulation of renewable energy, according to the chief executive of National Grid, John Pettigrew. “As we’re going through the energy transformation, we’ve got a lot of changes in generation. Interconnectors are increasingly important. There are going to be periods going forward where there is surplus renewable energy, too much wind or too much solar. Therefore, being able to take it from a local area and move it around Europe is good for carbon emissions.”