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HIP announces plans for £200m UK cable factory
Hecate Independent Power (HIP) has announced the launch of its HIP Atlantic Project, which includes plans for the creation of a new UK-based cable factory.
According to HIP, the project will see the installation of 10,000MW of fixed and floating wind turbines in the North Atlantic connected to the UK by long-length, high-capacity, high-voltage direct current (HVDC) submarine power transmission cables. HIP says it plans for these cables to be manufactured in the UK at a new bespoke £200m power cable plant to be built at a port in the North East of England – the exact location of which has not been confirmed. The total Atlantic Project cost is estimated at £21bn.
HIP has lodged four connection applications with National Grid for an initial 4,000MW of grid connections to the UK’s 400kV electricity transmission system across four connection sites. Each wind farm – or pod – will be in a different North Atlantic location, and each pod consisting of 1,000MW of wind turbines will have its own dedicated cable linked to the UK. Full dispatch of the HIP offshore wind pods will be under the exclusive control of the UK electricity system operator, making HIP Atlantic Britain’s first captive wind farm in overseas territorial waters.
HIP Atlantic’s initial 2,000MW of generation capacity, targeted to be off the southern and eastern coasts of Iceland, is expected to be commissioned in early 2025 to coincide with the UK’s de-commissioning of its last coal-fired power plants and the last of its original generation of commercial nuclear power plants. Crucially, the HIP Atlantic HVDC transmission cables will never connect to the Icelandic transmission system: the high availability wind capacity will be solely connected to the UK, dispatched by National Grid.
HIP’s planned offshore wind pods in the North Atlantic will all be installed in a different meteorological catchment area from current North Sea and Irish Sea wind farms and so HIP renewable electricity can be supplied at times when existing British wind farms are becalmed. This diversity of wind source provides a geographical portfolio effect to protect the UK transmission grid from too much offshore wind capacity installed in just one region.
HIP Atlantic aims to maximise the British manufactured content in every element of its equipment manufacturing and installation process: across offshore wind turbine and cable manufacture, installation and operations. HIP anticipates the initial 2,000MW capacity will result in some 15,000 new jobs in the UK.
HIP’s chairman, Sir Tony Baldry, said: “HIP Atlantic fulfils the Prime Minister’s vision of attracting investment and job creation in the North of England as part of this country’s ambitious policy to make Britain the world leader in offshore wind energy. We will stretch the zone of British-operated wind generation outside of our traditional territorial waters, pushing the boundaries of existing cable technology to generate over 1,000 kms from our grid landfall points throughout England.”
Iceland will also be a significant beneficiary of HIP Atlantic’s investment programme. The initial Icelandic investment for the first 2,000MW pilot phase of the project is expected to be £2.9m in 2021, rising to an additional £144m through 2025. Up to 500 new jobs in Iceland are associated with the 2,000MW pilot phase.