Beach on Suffolk coast
Nautilus Interconnector
We are launching plans for a new multi-purpose interconnector that could supply enough electricity to power around 1.4 million UK homes.

At National Grid Ventures (NGV), we are bringing forward proposals for Nautilus Interconnector, close to Leiston in East Suffolk. This new multi-purpose interconnector (MPI) would enable the connection of offshore wind generation between the UK and Belgium, powering up to 1.4 million UK homes.

About Nautilus

Nautilus could connect up to 1.4 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind to each country through subsea electricity cables which would travel between the two countries whilst connecting to offshore wind farm/s at sea. By combining offshore wind generation with interconnector capacity between the UK and Belgium, Nautilus would significantly reduce the amount of infrastructure and disruption required in both the marine and onshore environment.

With this change in technology, we would also be able to reduce the impact on the affected communities and environment, as well as support the UK to achieve its climate and energy targets. We are already working closely with other developers in the area to coordinate activities and minimiseimpact 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.

We held a non-statutory consultation on Nautilus Interconnector between Tuesday 14 September and Tuesday 26 October 2021.

The non-statutory consultation has now closed, but you can still view all our consultation materials, below.

What are multi-purpose interconnectors? 

MPIs are part of National Grid’s wider vision for the next generation of interconnectors. An MPI will connect offshore wind farms to an offshore converter station, potentially linking clusters of windfarms into a single connection point, before transporting this electricity to the transmission systems of two European countries through a sub-sea electricity cable called an interconnector. This would then connect to an onshore converter station at each end of the connection to transform high voltage direct current (HVDC) into high voltage alternating current (HVAC) so that the energy can be fed into the transmission network of each country.

As an MPI, Nautilus will help to:  

  • Support the UK to achieve its 40 GW 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 2.8 GW of flexible capacity between the GB 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 bills in the UK by providing access to the lowest priced energy available between GB and Belgium.
NGV Convertor Infographic
Consultation

We held a non-statutory consultation on Nautilus Interconnector between Tuesday 14 September and Tuesday 26 October 2021.

We have reviewed all feedback received during the consultation period and will be incorporating this, where possible, as we develop our proposals for Nautilus.

Further consultation will be held on Nautilus when you will have another opportunity to view and comment on the updated proposals.

Our communication channels remain open should you wish to find out more information about Nautilus Interconnector or provide us with any further comments.

You can get in touch with us using the details below:

Freephone: 08081 699 822

Freepost: FREEPOST NAUTILUS INTERCONNECTOR

Email[email protected]

Document library

Read downloadable PDF versions of all our consultation materials below.

The planning process

Nautilus Interconnector has been classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) in the UK. As part of the NSIP process, the project has a live page on the Planning Inspectorate's website.

Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP)

Nautilus Interconnector is classified as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The development will be required to submit an application for a Development Consent Order (DCO) where a final decision whether to grant consent will be made by the Secretary of State for BEIS.

The DCO regime requires a robust Environmental Impact Assessment and pre-application consultation process prior to any application being submitted. The DCO consent process will provide a single, unified consenting process with clear and fixed timescales.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process

Extensive environmental surveys and studies will be undertaken for Nautilus Interconnector as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA process) and a range of statutory consultees and stakeholders will be consulted with. As part of this process, a Scoping Report, a Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR) and an Environmental Statement (ES) will be produced.

Scoping Report

A Scoping Report will be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate. This will present the proposals for the Nautilus Interconnector and will describe how any potential impacts to the existing environment will be assessed. The feedback received on this document from the local planning authorities and statutory consultees will result in a Scoping Opinion from the Planning Inspectorate, which will be made publicly available.

Preliminary Environmental Information Report (PEIR)

The PEIR will build upon the findings from the earlier scoping documents, as well as the feedback received through consultation. It will incorporate the findings of the surveys and environmental assessments that have been carried out. This will enable consultees to develop an informed view of the potential impacts Nautilus may have on the local environment.

Environmental Statement (ES)

The ES will advance the content of the PEIR and will incorporate the responses from the consultation and the results of the surveys undertaken. It will also describe any changes to the project and any mitigation measures proposed to be implemented. The ES will form part of the DCO application for submission.

Copies of these reports will be made available during the public consultation. Options and ideas will be presented to consultees and environmental authorities as the proposals develop to understand the best approach for the final proposals.

Pebbled beach

Contact us:

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to find out more information about Nautilus Interconnector.

You can contact a member of our Community Relations Team to find out more by using the details below.

Freephone: 08081 699 822

Freepost: FREEPOST NAUTILUS INTERCONNECTOR

Email: [email protected]

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