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

  • Wednesday, May 8, 2019

    STEM makes a Big Bang!

    We were delighted to be one of forty businesses providing activities for 1000 young people at the STEM at The Big Bang @ Solent STEM event in April. Our team worked with students throughout the day to explore and create electrical circuits.

    The IFA2 team at The Big Bang @ Solent STEM event

    The IFA2 team at The Big Bang @ Solent STEM event

    We were delighted to be one of forty businesses providing activities for 1000 young people at the STEM at The Big Bang @ Solent STEM event in April. Our team worked with students throughout the day to explore and create electrical circuits.

    Jacquie Jones, EBP South Project Manager said ‘The Big Bang Solent is a hugely popular event with schools and businesses. With research showing that the STEM skills shortage costs UK businesses around £1.5 billion per year this is a proactive established event that allows businesses to upskill young people.’

    Jade Fuller, Project Manager of Employment and Skills at Solent LEP said ‘It is vital for employers and businesses to engage their future workforce and Big Bang @ Solent provides a great opportunity for them to do this. The Solent LEP is proud to sponsor events that enable young people to meet with organisations to ensure that they are aware of the future career pathways available to them.’

    The Big Bang @ Solent is organised by EBP South to inspire young people to explore the career opportunities and industries STEM can open up to them.

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  • Monday, April 29, 2019

    IFA2 continues school engagement programme at Crofton Hammond Junior School

    We have been visiting local junior schools as part of a wider school engagement programme, and recently visited Crofton Hammond Junior School in Fareham.

    We have been visiting local junior schools as part of a wider school engagement programme, and recently visited Crofton Hammond Junior School in Fareham.

    Craig Hunter, IFA2’s Assistant Commercial Manager, led an assembly with ‘Mad Scientists’, Super Sian and Electric Eddy. 90 children in Year 4 attended the session, which kicked off with a careers talk from Craig on engineering. Super Sian and Electric Eddy then took over, giving insight into the history of electricity and teaching the year group about some of the most famous electricians.

    The children were keen to get involved in an experiment to demonstrate how electric currents are conducted. The Van de Graaff generator concluded the session, and was met with delight from all the pupils!

    As we continue to work on the IFA2 project, we are keen to support children living in the local area, making learning about STEM subjects engaging and fun.

    Our school engagement programme is open to all local primary schools – for more information, email info@ifa2interconnector.com or call 0800 0194 576.

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  • 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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