Increasing security of electricity supplies for both the UK and France.

Onshore cables

  1. The HVAC and HVDC cables related to the converter station make landfall at Monks Hill Beach.
  2. HVDC and HVAC cables run to and from the converter station along one of the runways at Solent Airport.
  3. The HVAC cables were laid in 2019 and run along the bottom of the Solent to Chilling.
  4. The HVAC cables make landfall at Chilling.
  5. We have laid cables between the landfall and connection point at Chilling.
  6. The HVAC cables connect to the national electricity transmission system at a substation in Chilling.


Our HVAC and HVDC cables connect to the converter station via Monks Hill Beach and Solent Airport.

Work on the airfield during 2018 and early 2019 involved excavation of trenches and joint bays, installation of ducts for the cables in the trenches, backfilling and reinstatement. Installation of the cables and jointing works took place in 2019.

In October 2017, National Grid IFA2 undertook EMF trials on Solent airport. Using AC and DC cable systems installed and energised in the configuration and current rating reflecting the actual conditions in service. This was to verify compliance with the planning conditions and that there was no interference with aircraft avionics.

All participants, including airfield users confirmed that:

  • During the trials all aircraft systems functioned as normal
  • There were no anomalies observed on any of the aircraft avionics
  • Magnetic compass deviation was temporary and minor
  • For more information on Solent Airport please visit

What are we doing in the next three months?

  • We have finished laying and burying the offshore HVAC cables and the HVDC cables.

Monks Hill Beach

This is where both the HVAC and HVDC cables come onshore. All work is taking place within a compound in the eastern part of the car park. We access this using a purpose-built haul road through a field to the north of the car park. This will mean full public access to the western part of the car park; the beach and the beach huts has been preserved throughout the construction period.

Our work included excavating, backfilling and reinstating trenches to install cable ducts and the construction of three transition joint bays in the car park which will be filled and reinstated when cable jointing work is complete.

When carrying out this work we will:

  • Ensure the working areas are safely segregated from the public.
  • Maintain access to the western section of the car park ensuring that access to all beach huts is maintained.

What are we doing in the next three months?

  • We are currently conducting pre-commissioning works, which will include a series of tests carried out in conjunction with Fareham Borough Council and independent, specialist, consultants. The tests will be carried out over the next 4-6 weeks and will monitor any impact the project might have on its environment. This will include electromagnetic fields and noise, for example. We will share further information (including test results) as it becomes available.

Final stages of car park reinstatement work.


Chilling is where IFA2 connects to the electricity transmission network. We have installed cables from the shore area to the existing National Grid substation site on Chilling Lane.

We used a technique known as Horizontal Direct Drilling (HDD) to install cables in the shore area. This involved drilling underground and installing a series of ducts, which we then pulled the cables through.

Elsewhere, we dug trenches, buried the ducts, reinstated the ground, and pulled the cables through the ducts. The cables will not be visible when we have finished and the area will be reinstated.

For further information on NGET and the work at Chilling please visit: 

To reduce the impact of our project traffic we:

  • Impose a 10mph speed limit for construction vehicles through Hook Village.
  • Escort any HGVs moving through Hook Village.
  • Brief drivers about Chilling Lane’s use as a footpath and cycleway.

Reinstated speed bumps at the Chilling site.

What are we doing in the next three months?

  • Our work in this area is now complete. Thank you for your patience during the construction and reinstatement work.

Last updated: Monday, September 7, 2020

IFA2 ‘Tops out’ at Daedalus Airfield

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  • Thursday, October 15, 2020

    National Grid’s new undersea power cable between Britain and France energises race to net zero

    • IFA2, National Grid’s fourth interconnector, can provide enough clean energy from France to power 1 million British homes, avoiding 1.2 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 emissions. • By 2024, National Grid’s portfolio of interconnectors will provide enough zero carbon energy to power 8 million homes a year, avoiding a total of 100 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 emissions by 2030.

    National Grid today launches Britain’s latest interconnector, IFA2.  The 149-mile-long power cable runs along the sea bed between Portsmouth, Hampshire in the UK and near Caen, Normandy in France sharing surplus clean energy between the two countries.  IFA2 is expected to deliver 1.2% of Britain’s electricity needs, enough to power up to 1 million homes with zero carbon energy. By the end of its first year in operation, IFA2 will have helped avoid 1.2 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 from entering the atmosphere, equivalent to planting 50 million trees.

    IFA2 is the latest feat of engineering helping to transform Britain’s energy system. In the last decade, Britain’s power grid has decarbonised faster than that of any other developed country with a 64% decline in carbon emissions[1].  Interconnectors have played a critical role in this: every year, National Grid’s three existing interconnectors power the equivalent of 5 million homes with zero carbon energy. This will increase to the equivalent of 8 million homes a year by 2024, as a further three interconnectors are completed, avoiding a total of 100 million tonnes (Mt) CO2 emissions by 2030. That emission reduction equates to taking 2 million cars off the road.

    Furthermore, as the country’s renewable energy capacity, such as offshore wind, increases, interconnectors will enable Britain to sell any excess renewable energy to neighbouring countries.

    Despite the pandemic, IFA2 has remained on time and on budget. The 1,000 MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical interconnector is National Grid’s second link to France and is the result of a shared £700 million investment, with partners RTE.

    UK Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng visits IFA2 today as it enters its energisation phase which allows electricity power to run through the cable ready for testing before going live.

    With the energisation of IFA2, National Grid now has four operational interconnectors – two to France (IFA and IFA2), one to the Netherlands (BritNed) and one to Belgium (Nemo Link). Two further projects are under construction - Norway (North Sea Link, operational 2021) and Denmark (Viking Link, operational 2023).

    Interconnectors allow the UK to trade clean energy with neighbouring countries, exporting it during times of excess generation, and vice versa. They play a critical role in the UK’s transition to clean energy resources – connecting the UK to hydropower in Norway, wind power in Denmark, and carbon-free nuclear power in France.

    Jon Butterworth, CEO of National Grid Ventures, said: “While the world is focused on the pandemic and managing the knock-on effects on our lives, we know that progress towards net zero can’t afford to falter and Britain needs to keep up the momentum in reducing harmful carbon emissions. The launch of the IFA2 interconnector, linking France and Britain’s power grids, is an important step in accelerating our progress to a cleaner, greener future.”

    Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, said: “The opening of this IFA2 interconnector will provide enough clean electricity to power one million British homes so I am delighted to see this joint venture being launched.

    “Recent government commitments to the development of our offshore wind infrastructure show how the UK is a world leader in low-carbon energy generation and the IFA2 will allow us to share those benefits with our friends and neighbours in France.”

    [1]   National Statistics, Government for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, 2019 UK greenhouse gas emissions, provisional figures, 26 March 2020

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  • Tuesday, May 19, 2020

    Supporting our vulnerable neighbours

    National Grid IFA2 aims to be a considerate and supportive neighbour to the local community and, like so many across the country, we have felt this even more keenly during these extremely challenging times.

    National Grid IFA2 aims to be a considerate and supportive neighbour to the local community and, like so many across the country, we have felt this even more keenly during these extremely challenging times.

    Our team has been eager to support key workers, the elderly and the vulnerable. We have therefore been delivering local donations of PPE in recent weeks – reaching nearly 40 care and nursing homes in the areas of Fareham, Gosport and Lee-on-Solent.

    Face visors, face masks, sanitiser, antibacterial wipes, gloves, scrubs bags and gowns have made up the bulk of our donations. Initially, items were from stock supplied to our construction sites and our office at the Innovation Centre. However, as we began to appreciate the scale of the problem and the stress it was causing, we began to purchase supplies for donation via our own procurement channels, specifically to meet the local need.

    We have fortunately been able to make multiple visits, whilst observing social distancing protocol, to those organisations most in need of urgent supplies and unable to source them through traditional channels.

    Over the coming weeks we are hoping to continue this small contribution for the key workers who are so bravely delivering essential care in our local communities.

    We are extremely grateful for the efforts of everyone in the care homes, locally and nationally, the NHS and all key workers as they continue to work through these difficult times.


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  • Thursday, May 7, 2020

    IFA2 update: COVID-19

    The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, along with the measures in place to limit the outbreak further. Therefore, impacts on the programme may occur but we cannot be certain at this stage of the health crisis.

    The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented, along with the measures in place to limit the outbreak further. Therefore, impacts on the programme may occur but we cannot be certain at this stage of the health crisis.

    Once the consequences of the crisis are better known, including updated social distancing measures, the IFA2 Programme will undertake a detailed impact assessment. Communications will follow as appropriate.

    Both RTE and National Grid commit to minimising the impacts, whilst respecting the social distancing measures, and commits to protecting the security and health of everyone working on the project. 


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