Nautilus could connect up to 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind to each country through subsea electricity cables. By combining offshore wind generation with interconnector capacity between the UK and Belgium, Nautilus would significantly reduce the amount of infrastructure and disruption required both onshore and offshore.
With this new technology, we hope to reduce the impact of infrastructure on local communities and the environment, as well as support the government’s net zero and energy security targets. We are already working closely with other developers to coordinate activities and minimise impact on local communities. We believe that through improved coordination, the UK government can achieve and support the co-existence of renewable energy with coastal communities.
Update on Nautilus – March 2023
Last year, National Grid Ventures ran a non-statutory consultation for Nautilus, which proposed a connection at Friston.
NGV also holds a connection agreement on the Isle of Grain in Kent, as part of its development portfolio, and we are currently investigating if this could be a potential location for Nautilus. These investigations will include various surveys and environmental and technical assessments, both on land and within the marine environment. Until these studies are complete, and we understand the viability of the Isle of Grain for an MPI, we will continue to explore coordination opportunities with our developments on East Suffolk. Engagement with stakeholders and interested parties at the Isle of Grain will also be part of this process of information gathering.
Learn more about our work exploring opportunities for coordination
We will provide a further update on our Nautilus proposals later in 2023. Materials from our previous consultation can be found below.
What are multi-purpose interconnectors?
MPIs are part of National Grid’s wider vision for the next generation of interconnectors. An MPI is a subsea electricity cable that connects Great Britain to neighbouring energy markets and also connects offshore generation to shore. Once on land, it will connect to an onshore converter station to transform high voltage direct current (HVDC) into high voltage alternating current (HVAC) enabling energy to be fed into the transmission networks of each country.
As a MPI, Nautilus will help to:
support the UK to achieve its 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 and net zero by 2050 climate targets
Reduce impacts on coastal communities and the environment by avoiding the need for every project to have its own separate connection infrastructure
Support the transition towards a cleaner energy system by providing 2.8GW of flexible capacity between Great Britain and Belgian networks
Increase security of supply by ensuring cleaner energy flows from where it is being generated to where it is needed most
Promote more affordable energy in the UK by providing access to the lowest priced energy available between GB and Belgium.