Xlinks’ first-of-a-kind renewable energy project secures backing from TAQA and Octopus Energy
- TAQA to invest GBP25 million (AED113 million) and Octopus GBP5 million (AED22 million) into Xlinks development phase.
- Upon completion by 2030, the project will supply 8% of the UK’s electricity needs from renewable sources in Morocco.
26 April 2023 (London) – Xlinks First Limited has reached a critical early milestone with the successful closing of its new development funding round raising GBP30 million. The investment comes after securing GBP25 million (AED113 million) of investment from Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA), one of the largest listed integrated utility companies in the Middle East and North Africa region and GBP5 million (AED22 million) from global energy technology business, Octopus Energy Group.
With their investment, TAQA and Octopus are validating Xlinks’ plans to lay the world’s longest high-voltage direct current (HVDC) subsea cables between the UK and Morocco, passing Portugal, Spain and France as part of the Morocco – UK Power Project. It is one of a number of first-of-a-kind long-distance renewable energy generation and cross-border export projects being planned globally, addressing the growing demand for firm power capacity.
Xlinks will supply the UK with 3.6GW of renewable energy-sourced electricity amounting to nearly 8% of the nation’s current requirements and enough to power seven million British homes by the end of the decade. The UK’s Department for Energy Security and Net Zero has established a dedicated team to work with Xlinks to consider the merits of the project and understand how it could contribute to the UK’s energy security.
The electricity will be generated in the Guelmim Oued Noun region of Morocco by a 10.5GW facility of solar and wind farms, supported by 20GWh/5GW of battery storage. The facility will be connected to the UK power grid in Devon, South West England, via four 3,800km subsea HVDC cables, which will be manufactured in the UK. This project will rely on the Moroccan renewable energy expertise whilst supporting its leading role globally in the fight against climate change and providing further value to its natural resources and reinforcing its renewable energy export strategy. The project will create around 10,000 jobs in Morocco during construction and lead to significant foreign direct investments in the country.
Simon Morrish, CEO of Xlinks, said: “Xlinks’ ambition is to supply British households with secure, affordable, and green energy all year round. With this investment and support from our partners TAQA and Octopus, along with the support received from both the UK and Moroccan Governments, we take another step toward achieving that ambition. The huge potential of the Morocco – UK Power Project will help the UK accelerate its transition to clean sources of power, increase energy security and reduce consumer bills.”
Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, commented: “As a champion of low carbon power and water, TAQA’s investment in the Xlinks project shows that we are serious about helping reduce emissions whilst maintaining the security of energy supply that societies depend on. We are already working on a large scale HVDC subsea project in Abu Dhabi, and we own and operate one of the world’s largest solar PV plants. This investment offers the chance to bring both our infrastructure and renewable power expertise to the table to benefit the UK and Morocco.”
Greg Jackson, CEO and founder of Octopus Energy Group, said: “This partnership between Xlinks, TAQA and Octopus enables us to drive forward one of the most visionary energy projects in the world. When people ask ‘how will you power heat pumps and electric cars when it’s not windy?’- this is a big part of the answer. This is a new global industry, and the UK and our partners can do it first, helping cement Britain as a leader in the transition to low-cost renewable energy - bringing down bills, powering industry and creating green jobs both in the UK and Morocco.”
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Xlinks exists to capture the power of nature to generate a near-constant, low-cost energy supply and connect it to the point of consumption in real-time.
The Xlinks Morocco-UK Power Project is a “first of a kind” project that will generate 10.5GW of zero carbon electricity from the sun and wind to deliver 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day. The new electricity generation and battery storage facilities will be located in Morocco’s renewable energy-rich region of Guelmim Oued Noun and will be connected exclusively to Great Britain via 3,800km HVDC sub-sea cables.
The generation is enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over 7 million British homes from the end of the decade. Once complete, the project will be capable of supplying 8% of Great Britain’s electricity needs.
Alongside the output from its solar panels and wind turbines, an onsite 20GWh/5GW battery facility provides sufficient storage to reliably deliver each and every day, a dedicated, near-constant source of flexible and predictable clean energy for Britain, designed to complement the renewable energy already generated across the UK.
For more information visit www.xlinks.co.
Established in 2005, TAQA is a diversified utilities and energy group headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, and listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX: TAQA). TAQA has significant investments in power and water generation, transmission and distribution assets, as well as upstream and midstream oil and gas operations. The Company's assets are in the United Arab Emirates as well as Canada, Ghana, India, Iraq, Morocco, Oman, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and the United States. TAQA is a shareholder in Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).
About Octopus Energy Group
Octopus Energy Group is a global energy tech pioneer, launched in 2016 to use technology to unlock a customer focused and affordable green energy revolution. With operations in 14 countries, Octopus Energy Group has a truly global reach.
Octopus’s domestic energy arm already serves 5.3 million customers with cheaper greener power, through Octopus Energy, Bulb, Affect Energy, Ebico, London Power and Co-op Energy. Octopus Electric Vehicles is helping make clean transport cheaper and easier, and Octopus Energy Services is bringing smart products to thousands of homes. Octopus Energy Generation is one of Europe’s largest investors in renewable energy, managing a nearly £6 billion portfolio of renewable energy assets across the globe.
All of these are made possible by Octopus’s tech arm, Kraken Technologies, which offers a proprietary, in-house platform based on advanced data and machine learning capabilities. Kraken automates much of the energy supply chain to allow outstanding service and efficiency as the world transitions to a decentralised, decarbonised energy system. This technology has been licensed to support 30 million customer accounts worldwide, through deals with EDF Energy, Good Energy, E.ON energy and Origin Energy.
In December 2021, Octopus Energy Group was valued at approximately $5 billion following investments from Generation Investment Management and Canada Pensions Plan Investments Board. Both investors back businesses that drive sustainability, promote green energy and tackle climate change. These were the company’s third and fourth major investments since launching to the market.
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