10 Nov 2020, 14:09
Edgar Meza

First power link between Germany and Belgium begins operation

Clean Energy Wire

German and Belgian transmission system operators Amprion and Elia Group have completed the first direct current connection between Germany and Belgium. The 90-kilometer underground cable known as the Aachen Lüttich Electricity Grid Overlay (ALEGrO) connects the German and Belgian power grids directly for the first time, Amprion announced in a press release. Connecting substations in western Germany’s Rhineland region and Wallonia in southern Belgium, ALEGrO can transmit 1,000 megawatts of power. A connection for the European electricity market will be available as of 18 November, with intraday capacities to begin trading on 8 December. The allocation of long-term capacities will start in early 2021, according to Amprion. The company said the new connection “contributes significantly to the fact that the European energy markets continue to grow together. This facilitates the integration of renewable energy into the electricity system, opens up cheap electricity sources for consumers, strengthens the security of supply in both countries and the economic attractiveness of the Aachen-Cologne region.”

Commenting on the new connection, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the rapid expansion and greater digitalisation of the grid was crucial for the success of the energy transition. “The new electricity connection between Belgium and Germany is not only important for our two countries, but also for electricity trading and security of supply in Europe as a whole. In this respect, today is also a good day for the internal energy market." Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo added, “Germany and Belgium have made the same strategic decisions with regard to energy production, namely the abandonment of nuclear energy and the full use of climate-neutral energy sources. ALEGrO embodies on site the connection between these two strategies.”

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