(Bloomberg) -- France’s energy regulator has rejected a request to build an electricity interconnector between Britain and France because of increased uncertainty since Brexit.
The 1.4 gigawatt project was being developed by a private company, GridLink Interconnector Ltd, and was supposed to be operational from 2025. The cable was awaiting approval from regulators CRE and Ofgem.
Studies showed that Brexit could have a significant impact on the benefits of interconnection projects, CRE said. The measures in the Brexit agre,ement to try to link the U.K. with other markets have many uncertainties, it said.
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The rejection marks a significant deterioration in relations between Britain and France when it comes to electricity supplies. The exchange of electrons between the nations became a bargaining chip in the Brexit negotiations, wielded by the French to try to get concessions on fishing rights. It could make other future interconnectors less likely too.
Gridlink had been picked out as a project of common interest by the European Union, which allowed it to apply for financing from the Connecting Europe Facility, an EU fund for infrastructure investments across the union.
Last week, Britain rejected a politically controversial 2,000-megawatt power cable to France proposed by Aquind Ltd. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng refused to grant a development consent order, the final stage in the planning process, despite a recommendation from the examining authority that the project be approved.
Britain already has two interconnectors with France, IFA-1 and IFA-2. A third, running along the Channel Tunnel, is due to start operating this year.
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