London, 20 August 2018

AQUIND appeals ACER’s refusal to grant AQUIND Interconnector an exemption from regulatory provisions

AQUIND has formally submitted an appeal of the decision of ACER’s Director on 19th June 2018 to refuse a request for an exemption pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) 714/2009. The appeal was submitted to the Board of Appeal of ACER on 17th August 2018.

The exemption requested by AQUIND pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) 714/2009 would allow the development of AQUIND Interconnector as an independent project without public subsidies. Instead, the appealed decision insists that AQUIND needs to request support from public funds in Great Britain and France.

The appeal centres on a number of manifest errors and inconsistencies in the decision, which AQUIND submits resulted in ACER incorrectly concluding that the ‘risk’ condition of Article 17 was not met.

More particularly, AQUIND believes that the decision incorrectly disregarded provisions of the French energy code which prevent independent developers from developing interconnectors in France without an exemption, wrongly applied and interpreted key EU regulations, and failed to properly assess the project risks.

The appeal was prepared based on extensive consultation with leading experts and scholars in EU energy policy and regulation.

AQUIND has requested that the Board of Appeal rectify the decision of the ACER Director and grant an exemption for AQUIND Interconnector as requested in the original application.

In terms of its capacity and cable length, AQUIND is the largest and longest fully private interconnector under development in Europe.

AQUIND Interconnector, once realised, will bring considerable social welfare benefits, among the largest for a private project, to the GB, French and EU markets. These benefits were independently assessed and approved by ENTSO-E, Ofgem and ACER itself.

The exemption, once granted, will allow AQUIND to build and operate the interconnector without reliance on GB and French consumer subsidies.

AQUIND will continue close engagement with the National Regulatory Authorities and the European Commission on this matter. AQUIND also reserves all other legal routes available to it in accordance with relevant legislations.

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.

In May 2017, AQUIND submitted a request for exemptions, pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) 714/2009, to the regulatory authority of France, CRE, and the regulatory authority of Great Britain, Ofgem. In September 2017, both authorities formally accepted AQUIND’s request. In December 2017, ACER received a referral of AQUIND’s exemption request. In June 2018, ACER’s Director issued a negative decision, which AQUIND is appealing.