IFA2 is a 1,000 MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical interconnector currently under construction between the British and French transmission systems. It will be the second link to France that National Grid has developed with RTE.

Great Britain France Connection point Interconnectors need to connect to the existing electricity transmission system. They do this at a substation. Converter station A converter station converts electricity between Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). Converter station A converter station converts electricity between Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC). Connection point Interconnectors need to connect to the existing electricity transmission system. They do this at a substation. HVAC electricity We use High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) to move electricity around the national electricity transmission system. HVAC electricity We use High Voltage Alternating Current (HVAC) to move electricity around the national electricity transmission system. Subsea cable We use subsea HVDC cables to move electricity between the two converter stations

Why do we need interconnectors?

An interconnector allows countries to exchange power, helping to ensure safe, secure and affordable energy supplies. They are the heart of the transition to a smarter energy system and integral to delivering a more flexible energy system for consumers.

Why do we need IFA2?

IFA2 will provide the capability to export or import 1,000MW of power. This brings three important benefits for our national energy requirements:

Affordability:

By giving Great Britain access to the European electricity market, IFA2 should help create downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices. We estimate that each 1,000MW of new interconnector capacity has the potential to reduce wholesale prices in Great Britain by up to 2%.

Security of supply:

Consumers throughout Europe use electricity in various ways at different times of the day, and interconnection allows electricity to be moved to where it is needed. This is particularly important at times of ‘system stress’, such as a combination of cold weather and unexpected power station shutdowns.

Sustainability:

Interconnectors allow countries to look beyond their borders and use renewable energy more efficiently. When it is sunny and windy in Great Britain, for example, where lots of power is generated, electricity can be moved quickly to a country where it’s needed. When British conditions are less favourable, power can be imported from Europe.

Project map

The interactive project map shows the extent of work being undertaken in your area.

Interactive project map

News

  • Tuesday, March 19, 2019

    National Grid boosts offshore safety for IFA2 interconnector

    Combined technology set to detect and protect mariners and cable operations

    National Grid and RTE’s IFA2 interconnector project is investing in a powerful combination of safety and security measures to protect marine users around while it lays high voltage direct current (HVDC) cables in the Channel between March 2019 and February 2020.

    For the first time on an offshore cable project, IFA2 will use a combination of fast response patrol vessels with manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) linked by satellite to an operations room to monitor its work areas. The UAV will provide high definition images of the working area, and traffic approaching it, every five to ten seconds. The protection package aims to ensure the cable laying exclusion zone is avoided by fishing vessels which could otherwise result in costly damage to both the cable and vessel. This is in addition to the traditional measures of AIS monitoring, safety vessels, Notices to Mariners, and follows consultation with marine authorities and local fishermen in both countries.

    David Luetchford, IFA2’s Project Director in the UK, said: “There have been episodes of damage to both fishing vessels and cables when vessels have ignored notifications and demarcations on previous interconnector projects. We have learned from these.

    “We’ve identified a combination of several technologies and tactics to detect and deflect any vessels in our working zones, thereby ensuring risks to fishing vessels and cable laying are both minimised.”

    The HVDC cables linking the electricity transmission systems of Great Britain and France are an essential part of IFA2, and will run 200km from Merville in Normandy to Fareham in Hampshire. The cables will be buried in the seabed and installed by large specialist vessels which can transport and lay long sections of cables (up to 60km). There will be an exclusion zone extending to 500m either side of the cable route during the laying and burial operations.

     

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  • Friday, March 8, 2019

    Hook information event

    We’ll be restarting work to install cables for IFA2 in the Chilling area and are hosting an information event where you can find out more about this. The open event will take place from 4pm – 8pm on 12 March 2019 at the Nook and Cranny, Hook Ln, Hook, Warsash SO31 9HH.

    We’ll be restarting work to install cables for IFA2 in the Chilling area and are hosting an information event where you can find out more about this.

    The open event will take place from 4pm – 8pm on 12 March 2019 at the Nook and Cranny, Hook Ln, Hook, Warsash SO31 9HH.

    Last year we installed the ducts which will house the high voltage alternating current (HVAC) cables required for IFA2. We then paused work in November 2018 to reduce the risk of disturbing overwintering birds.

    The season for these birds will soon be over, and we are preparing to begin work in the area again in coming weeks. The focus for our work will be laying and connecting the cables. As before, we’ll impose a 10mph speed limit for construction vehicles through Hook Village, as well as escorting any HGVs.

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  • Friday, March 1, 2019

    Stubbington Lane and Crofton Avenue reopened to traffic

    National Grid IFA2 has been working to install cable ducts under Stubbington Lane and Crofton Avenue. As this work is now complete, we are in a position to reopen these roads to traffic. Stubbington Lane has been reopened, and Crofton Avenue will be reopened to traffic later in the afternoon of 1 Marc 2018. We are grateful to local people for their ongoing patience and cooperation during this work.

    National Grid IFA2 has been working to install cable ducts under Stubbington Lane and Crofton Avenue.

    As this work is now complete, we are in a position to reopen these roads to traffic. Stubbington Lane has been reopened, and Crofton Avenue will be reopened to traffic later in the afternoon of 1 Marc 2018.

    We are grateful to local people for their ongoing patience and cooperation during this work.

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