United Kingdom

Former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis to run undersea power line firm

Former Tesco boss Sir Dave Lewis is the new chairman of a firm that plans to lay thousands of miles of undersea cable to supply the UK with renewable energy from Africa. 

The project aims to supply seven million homes in the UK with 'near constant, low-cost clean energy' via the 3,800km of undersea cable. 

Lewis said the audacious plan will link to newly built solar and wind power generators in Morocco and help drive Britain towards its ambitions of 'a reliable, net zero electricity system by 2035'. 

New challenge: Sir Dave Lewis Lewis is credited with turning round Tesco after he arrived in 2014 to find a £263m black hole in its accounts

Lewis is credited with turning round Tesco after he arrived in 2014 to find a £263million black hole in its accounts. Since he left last year there has been constant speculation about his next major role. 

His new firm, Xlinks, was set up in 2018 by entrepreneur and the firm's vice-chair Simon Morrish. 

It will manufacture the HVDC (highvoltage direct current) cable for the project in Britain, creating around 1,350 jobs. Through a partnership with ACWA Power, it will generate 3.6gigawatts of energy in Morocco spanning 1,500km. 

It says the reliability of the Moroccan sun and desert winds will help deliver a smoother supply for the UK, where power from wind and solar can be highly variable. 

Lewis said: 'We're heading into an era of unprecedented growth in offshore wind farms around the world. 

'Investing in a British-owned and valuable, high growth export industry serving decarbonising economies across the world will create thousands of regional manufacturing jobs and stimulate demand for British made steel and aluminium for decades.' 

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