It’s fair to say 2020 was an extraordinary year for the world and for Nemo Link, the first ever UK- Belgium interconnector in its second year of operation, it has also marked another outstanding year of performance despite its challenges.
Highest availability of its kind
The Nemo Link Interconnector celebrates the end of 2020 with 99.17% availability, continuing to be one of the highest performing assets of its kind in the world. In 365 days of continuous operation, Nemo Link only had 6 hours of unplanned outages and 67 hours of planned maintenance work, even with all planning and execution right in the middle of a pandemic. In 2020, Nemo Link had 2 periods of operating with no interruption at all (198 days in Q1 & Q2 and 99 days in Q4). On safety, Nemo Link had no accidents on site over the year and more importantly, the interconnector managed to operate safely and efficiently with all essential COVID safety measures in place.
On the commercial front, it has been a busy year for the team preparing for Brexit to ensure a smooth transition following GB’s departure from the EU’s Internal Energy Market. This includes operational system and procedure readiness to extensive engagement with customers, regulators and stakeholders. On 31st December 2020, Nemo Link successfully ran its 1st explicit day ahead auction, ensuring power continued to flow between GB and Belgium without any interruption in the new trading arrangement. With 62% of its capacity already having been locked in at solid prices for 2021, Nemo Link was heading into 2021 with a good start.
2020 was also the first full year that Nemo Link has run its Intraday product with hourly nomination gates. Nemo Link’s intraday product allows our customers to quickly react to volatility after day-ahead market closure and 19th April 2020 was a particularly good example of its impact. On the day, solar production in Belgium fell significantly below the day-ahead forecast, resulting in a short Belgian system and imbalance prices of up to 359€/MWh. Nemo Link’s intraday customers reacted by reducing exports to GB, thereby helping to restore the demand-supply balance.
After the first full year of successful operations, Nemo Link also reviewed its observed losses and announced the new Loss Factor which was lowered from 2.6% to 2.372%, effective from September 2020. This has been highly received by our customers as it brings more efficiency for every Megawatt that they intend to flow on the Interconnector.
In summary, it’s been an exceptional year providing the market with world class asset availability, a wide product mix, a reliable trading and nomination system, and a strong customer focus which has rewarded Nemo Link with another outstanding 86% customer rating for Ease-of-doing-business. We aim to continually improve and have a strong foundation from which to build.