Project profile

  • 400kV AC cable from Richborough substation to DC converter station, DC undersea cable between English and Belgian coasts, AC cable from DC converter station to Zeebrugge substation
  • Length: ~ 120km
  • TSOs: National Grid and Elia
  • NGO involved via BESTGRID: RSPB, Germanwatch
  • Expected start of operation: 2018 

BESTGRID activities

National Gird has retrospectively evaluated their own stakeholder engagement and communication activities that they applied for Nemo Link and other offshore interconnector projects. For this, they have conducted interviews and held workshops with relevant stakeholders of NemoLink both in the UK and in Belgium. Moreover, a number of other internal marine infrastructure projects, both current and past, have been reviewed to benchmark and give input into the conclusions. In the end, National Grid has drawn recommendations for future marine grid development projects. 

Lessons learned

  • Know your stakeholder: it is vitally important that a project team both knows AND understands its stakeholders.
  • Facilitating stakeholder engagement: Understanding how and when to engage with stakeholders and adapting to their needs and motivation has a material impact on the quality of engagement, discussions and relationships.
  • Maintaining project discipline: maintaining good quality records of meetings, timekeeping, planning and preparation for engagement enable improved relationships and maximise efficient use of time and resource. Do not underestimate how important this is when dealing with resource-constrained stakeholders.
  • Data access/co-ordination: Research the availability of existing data and/or solutions to issues from similar projects or projects in close proximity, understand and account for the different legal, structural and regulatory requirements that exist across boundaries (country, waters, legislative). Allow for additional considerations over impacts on intertidal areas due to added sensitivities and differing, but often overlapping consenting authorities.
  • Knowledge transfer and continuity: Undertake effective handovers at all project transition stages to ensure project specific knowledge is maintained. Undertake regular, comprehensive lessons learned exercises and embed the process as part of the project ’culture’, sharing positive as well as negative experiences. 

More information

  • For more information about the project as such, consult the project website
  • National Grid has run a series of interviews and workshops for the evaluation of their stakeholder engagement process. This report summarises their findings
  • For National Grid's general approach towards interconnectors, see this report