Xlinks Announces Ground-breaking Renewable Energy Project to Deliver Low-Cost, Clean Power to Over 7 Million British Homes

September 26, 2021

Today, Xlinks, a company that exists to capture the power of nature to produce near constant, low-cost clean energy and connect it to markets where there is demand, is unveiling its plans for its first project, a new solar and wind facility in Morocco. The project, aptly named the Morocco – UK Power Project will cover an area of approximately 1,500km², and will connect exclusively to Britain via 3,800km HVDC sub-sea cables.

Morocco has established itself as a global leader in the fight against Climate Change by being a forerunner in the development of large and innovative renewable energy projects. It has also achieved important penetration rates of renewable energies. Moreover, the Kingdom has the adequate economic and business environment for renewable energy investments, making it the ideal partner for the project.

The Morocco – UK Power Project, which is making progress in gaining the requisite regulatory and Government approvals in Morocco, will be capable of generating a total of 3.6GW of reliable energy for an average of 20+ hours a day, from the country’s Guelmim Oued Noun region – enough to provide low-cost, clean power to over 7 million British homes by the end of the decade.

Xlinks will be a net contributor to the Exchequer, if the project utilises the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference (CfD) mechanism. Xlinks will not require Government subsidy or finance – and will deliver energy at £48/MWh CfD, pricing it below BEIS’s central forecast for energy prices¹. This means it will generate savings for consumers.

Alongside the consistent output from its solar panels and wind turbines, a 20GWh/5GW battery facility will ensure power generated can be delivered every day, resulting in a dedicated, near-constant source of flexible and predictable renewable energy for Britain, designed to complement renewable energy generated in UK.

When domestic generation drops due to low winds and short periods of sun, Xlinks harvests the benefits of high solar irradiance in the south of Morocco alongside consistent convection desert winds to provide an alternative source of zero-carbon electricity.

Xlinks will connect directly to Britain’s electricity grid via four undersea High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cables. The 3,800km HVDC interconnector route will be laid in waters skirting the coasts of Portugal, Spain and France before linking to Britain’s electricity network via two 1.8GW connections at Alverdiscott in Devon.

To manufacture the required HVDC interconnector cable, Xlinks will create an export-led cable manufacturing industry in Britain, via a dedicated cable supply system company called XLCC, who will provide approximately 1,350 new, permanent regional jobs by 2024. Agreements for factories to be located in Hunterston and Port Talbot have been signed with planning permission applications underway. Discussions are also taking place for a third factory in the North East. Investment in Britain’s new HVDC cable industry will also fuel a supply chain ecosystem including steel manufacturing, local fabrication, factory construction and fit outs, shipbuilding for a cable laying vessel and support services for factories.

The project launches as Britain enters a critical phase in its transition to clean energy. In 2020, renewable power generation outstripped fossil fuels for the first time², but getting from where we are today to a zero-carbon electricity system by 2035, in line with the Sixth Carbon Budget³, will require a greater supply of clean and affordable baseload energy.

Perfectly aligned with Morocco’s new renewable energy export ambition, the Morocco – UK Power Project will consolidate the country’s leading role globally in the renewable energy sector and further build its position as the international hub for price competitive and carbon-free energy. While relying on Morocco’s experience in developing large-scale renewable energy projects and its competitive industry, the project will also provide substantial added value to Morocco. It will drive the production of locally manufactured solar and wind components as well as a significant amount of local civil engineering works plus, there will be the creation of nearly 10,000 jobs during construction, of which 2,000 will become permanent.

Xlinks is a business run by a team combining FTSE 100 and power industry leadership experience with British entrepreneurship. Former Tesco CEO, Sir Dave Lewis, is Executive Chair and Paddy Padmanathan, President and CEO of ACWA Power, the leading developer of renewable power across North Africa and the Middle East, Southern Africa and South East Asia, will be Vice-Chair. Simon Morrish, EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year responsible for building Ground Control and founder of Levitate Capital, is the founder and CEO of Xlinks. In Morocco, Xlinks is chaired by Dayae Oudghiri, a renewable energy expert.

Sir Dave Lewis said:

“Xlinks is a Morocco – British first. Using proven technology, it will deliver clean power to over 7 million British homes in this decade. The project will harness extremely reliable solar and wind power in Morocco to deliver vital baseload power balancing and enabling our own offshore wind ambitions, while reinforcing Morocco’s renewable energy industry. Working in tandem with domestic renewables, it makes a reliable, net zero electricity system by 2035 much more possible in Britain.

XLCC, the cable supply system company, will start production in 2024, in order to produce the 15,200km of HVDC cable required for Xlinks’ Morocco project. International growth, due to growing global demand for interconnectors, will drive orders long-term to keep the HVDC production lines at capacity for at least the next 20 years.

Lewis said: “We are heading into an era of unprecedented growth in offshore wind farms around the world. The demand for HVDC cable, to connect these offshore farms to shore is expected to grow rapidly, to more than three times current capacity, over the next ten years⁴. Investing in a British-owned and valuable, high growth export industry serving decarbonising economies across the world will create thousands of regional manufacturing jobs and stimulate demand for British made steel and aluminium for decades.”

Notes to Editors
¹ BEIS Reference Case:
² Dr Simon Evans, Carbon Brief, 18th March 2021, <>
⁴ Goldman Sachs Equity Report, December 2020