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

  • Thursday, July 11, 2019

    Update on further transformer delivery work (15-19 July 2019)

    We are making our second large delivery to the converter station site off Broom Way during the week commencing 15 July.

    We are making our second large delivery to the converter station site off Broom Way during the week commencing 15th July. This delivery will be the final two of four transformers – these are an important part of the converter station that we are building as part of IFA2. We delivered two transformers in the first week of July and will be following the same procedure: landing the transformers by barge at the Hovercraft Slipway in Lee-on-Solent and moving them to the converter station site using a police escort on the route shown below.

    We’re using a vehicle called a Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) to move the transformers on the road, one transformer per day over two days. The SPMT will travel at approximately 5mph and could cause traffic to queue behind it whilst it is moving along the route, particularly on Broom Way. Traffic will be managed by the police during the delivery and this will include a rolling road block for oncoming vehicles.

    We expect to make deliveries at the following dates and times:

    • 17 July 2019: Two transformers arrive by barge at High Tide on the Hovercraft Slipway
    • 18 July 2019: First transformer delivered to converter station site with police escort between 1230 and 1330
    • 19 July 2019: Second transformer delivered to converter station site with police escort between 0930 and 1030

    The Hovercraft Slipway car park will be partially closed to the public on Tuesday 16 July during preparatory work and fully closed on Wednesday 17 July for the barge landing. We apologise for any inconvenience.

    We are working closely with Hampshire Police, Hampshire County Council, Solent Airport and Fareham Borough Council to minimise disruption during the deliveries. The dates and times of deliveries may change depending on tides and the weather.

    Read more »
  • Thursday, July 11, 2019

    Update on transformer delivery work (1-5 July 2019)

    IFA2 will be making deliveries from the Hovercraft Slipway to a construction site off Broom Way in the coming weeks, starting 1 July 2019. Please note: the Hovercraft Slipway and car park will be partially closed on 1, 3, 4 and 5 July and completely closed to the public for safety reasons on 2 July.

    IFA2 will be making deliveries from the Hovercraft Slipway to a construction site off Broom Way in the coming weeks, starting 1 July 2019.

    We currently expect to make deliveries at the following dates and times:

    • 1 July 2019: Preparation of Hovercraft Slipway and beach for landing
    • 2 July 2019: Delivery of two transformers to Hovercraft Slipway by barge
    • 3 July 2019: First transformer delivered to converter station site with police escort between 0930 and 1030
    • 5 July 2019: Second transformer delivered to converter station site with police escort between 0930 and 1030

    The Hovercraft Slipway car park will be completely closed to the public for safety reasons on 2 July. It will be partially closed on 1, 3, 4 and 5 July. We apologise for any inconvenience. 

    We are planning a further set of transformer deliveries in the week commencing 15 July 2019. We will update this site with details of the second set of deliveries when they are confirmed. 

    The deliveries will be made using a large self-propelled vehicle. It will travel at 5mph.

    Traffic will be managed by the police during the delivery and this will include a rolling road block for oncoming vehicles.

    This could cause traffic to queue behind it whilst it is moving along the route.

    Read more »
  • Monday, June 10, 2019

    Lost WW2 aircraft lifted from sea after more than 75 years

    A WW2 plane which crashed into the sea more than 75 years ago has been lifted from the Solent.

    This week, specialist divers and archaeologists completed an operation to retrieve the wreckage of a 1943 Fairey Barracuda Torpedo Bomber (believed to be No. BV739) - just in time for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

    The three-seater plane, part of 810 Squadron Royal Navy Air Station, based at Lee-On-Solent is believed to have got into difficulty shortly after taking off for its test flight before crashing 500m from the coast in Portsmouth.

    The Barracuda wreckage is the only one to have ever been found in one piece and the last remaining aircraft of its kind in the UK.

    David Luetchford, Head of IFA2 for National Grid said: “Interconnectors are about bringing us closer to a zero-carbon future, but we must also respect the past. An important part of our job is to always have a thorough and sympathetic approach to archaeological finds. Over the course of the project we’ve inspected over 1,000 targets of interest, many of which were found to be unexploded ordnance, not unusual given the history of this location. However, to have found a 1943 Fairey Barracuda torpedo bomber is incredible and such a key piece of British history.

    It’s not every day you get the chance to play a role in an operation like this and it is very lucky to have found the plane in such a small search area. We surveyed a 180-metre-wide area along the cable route and if we had chosen a slightly different route, there is a good chance the plane would never have been found.”

    Work to fully retrieve the plane started on the 23rd May is expected to take around three weeks in total as experts from Wessex Archaeology are carefully excavating the area around the aircraft and removing large amounts of silt and clay.

    So far, both wings have successfully been lifted out of the waters and the remainder of the plane will be recovered by lifting it in sections over the coming days.

     “The recovery of the Fairey Barracuda will aid an ongoing Fleet Air Arm Museum project to recreate what will be the world’s only complete example of this type of aircraft. This will give us a chance to examine a unique lost piece of aviation history”.

    Once retrieved, the parts will be taken to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Museum in Somerset where it will be studied and used to rebuild a full-size Barracuda in the site’s aircraft hangar.

    David Morris, Curator at The National Museum of the Royal Navy has been working on the project for several years and visited four other Barracuda crash sites to retrieve suitable parts.

    He said: “This is an incredible find and a wonderful piece of British history. There are very few blueprints of the Barracuda plane design available so this wreckage will be studied to enable us to see how the plane segments fitted together and how we can use some of the parts we currently have.

    “This find is a huge step forward for our project and we can’t wait to get it back to the museum and share our findings with the public.”

    The plane’s pilot has been named as SUB LNT DJ Williams who managed to escape the crash and survived WW2.

    Read more »