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

Onshore cables

  1. The HVAC and HVDC cables related to the converter station will make landfall at Monk’s Hill beach.
  2. We will lay HVDC and HVAC cables to and from the converter station along one of the runways at Solent Airport. We’ll start this work in October 2018 and finish in October 2019.
  3. The HVAC cables will run along the bottom of the Solent to Chilling. We’ll lay these in 2019.
  4. The HVAC cables will make landfall at Chilling.
  5. We will lay HVAC cables between the landfall and connection point at Chilling. We’re carrying out construction work here until September 2018, and then installing the cables in 2019.
  6. The HVAC cables will connect to the national electricity transmission system at a substation in Chilling.


Our HVAC and HVDC cables will connect to the Converter Station, the route from Monks Hill Beach to the Converter Station involves the installation of the cables onto 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 will follow on from this work during spring and summer of 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 the offshore HVAC cables and are now burying them. 
  • To prepare for the arrival of the HVDC cables we are digging a trench in the intertidal area at Monks Hill Beach.

Monks Hill Beach

This is where both the HVAC and HVDC cables will come onshore. All work will take place within a compound in the eastern part of the car park. We’ll 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 are preserved throughout the construction period.

Our work will consist of the excavation of trenches to install the cable ducts, backfilling and reinstatement and the construction of 3 transition joint bays in the car park which will be backfilled and reinstated after completion of the jointing works.

When carrying out this work we will:

  • Ensure the working areas are safely segregated from the public
  • Complete the beach works and work within the eastern car park area within one season (2019)
  • Maintain access to the western section of the car park ensuring that access to all beach huts is maintained.

Monks Hill Beach information poster


What are we doing in the next three months?

  • Fencing is in place on the beach and pink buoys are positioned on the water around our jack up barges, the C57 Red Squirrel and C59 Emotion, to mark our working construction area. There are open excavations and obstructions under the water and the area is therefore restricted for your safety. Please do not enter this restricted working area on the beach or in the water. For more information please see the poster above. These vessels are expected to depart in WC 9/9/19.
  • The CAPALL MARA (shown below) will arrive on site shortly for trenching work associated with the HVDC cables. We will be working up to 2km from shore with the CAPALL MARA and will share further details shortly. The HVDC cable pull is scheduled for mid-October after CAPALL MARA has completed trenching works.
  • We have site hoardings around the area to the south of Crofton Avenue which is the main access for our construction traffic down to Monks Hill Car Park.
  • We have completed the installation of sheet piling off Monks Hill Beach. We aim to finish trenching work there by mid-September and will then return the beach to its original condition.
  • We have temporarily diverted the public footpath from the car park to The Shack café while we excavate trenches underneath the footpath route. The temporary footbridge in place as part of the diversion will be removed in WC 9/9/19.
  • We are burying the six HVAC cables between Monk’s Hill Beach and Chilling using the JIF ARTEMIS and GREEN QUEST (safety vessel). We expect to complete this work in November.
  • The current position of our vessels can be tracked on the MarineTraffic.comtool on the Offshore Cable section of this site.

C57 Red Squirrel



Chilling is the point that IFA2 will connect to the electricity transmission network. We are laying cables from the shore area to an existing National Grid facility on Chilling Lane.

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

Elsewhere, we will dig trenches, bury the ducts, reinstate the ground, and pull the cables through. In all cases, the cables will not be visible when we have finished. For further information on NGET and the work at Chilling please visit: 


To reduce the impact of our project traffic in the area we will do the following:

  • 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

What are we doing in the next three months?

  • We have now completed the crossings over Chilling Lane and Workmans Lane.
  • We returned to site in mid-March after a shutdown period to protect overwintering birds.

Last updated: Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Our fossil heritage revealed

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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 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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  • 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.

    Read more »