London, 28 June 2018

Statement on ACER’s decision regarding AQUIND’s request for exemption

Today the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) has issued its decision on the exemption request pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) 714/2009.

AQUIND is an independent project which is being developed without government subsidies. The development of the project continues successfully. AQUIND has recently been awarded the Project of Common Interest status by the European Commission. Once operational, AQUIND Interconnector will bring considerable benefits to the UK, French and European power grids. AQUIND Interconnector will boost energy market competition, improve security of supply and foster greater integration of renewable power sources in France and the UK.

In its assessment, ACER acknowledges that AQUIND will have a positive effect on the European, French and British energy markets and that more interconnection between France and the UK is needed. AQUIND welcomes these findings.

However, AQUIND strongly disagrees with ACER’s assessment that the level of risk attached to AQUIND Interconnector is not sufficient to justify an exemption and with the Agency’s interpretation of European regulations. The decision also disregards some unique aspects of the French legislation.

AQUIND is an independent project which is currently being developed without reliance on public or consumer funding. Yet, ACER’s decision appears to be aimed at directing AQUIND towards a path whereby it would become subject to the general regulated interconnector regime underwritten by French and British consumers.

AQUIND regrets ACER’s decision not to approve the exemption request and believes that it meets all necessary criteria for an Article 17 exemption. AQUIND will appeal this decision and reserves all other legal routes available to it in accordance with relevant legislation. AQUIND will also continue to work closely with Ofgem, CRE and the European Commission on the project development.

Note to editors:

AQUIND Interconnector is a proposed new subsea and underground High Voltage Direct Current power transmission link between the South Coast of England and Normandy in France. With the capacity of 2,000 MW, AQUIND Interconnector will improve security of supply, help foster greater renewable power integration and make the national grids more robust by supplying them with vital ancillary services. The project is fully private and is being developed without any government subsidies.