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. 
  • The HVDC cable has been positioned in the pre-prepared trench off Monks Hill Beach and we are now burying the cable and reinstating the sea bed.

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.


What are we doing in the next three months?

  • Our excavation and trenching work on Monks Hill Beach is complete and we have reinstated the beach.
  • We are burying the six HVAC cables between Monk’s Hill Beach and Chilling and our vessel, the CAPALL MARA, is active in the area. 
  • 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 are working on cable jointing and burial at Monks Hill Car Park behind the site hoardings. We will maintain the footpath access from east to west while this work is ongoing.
  • The current position of our vessels can be tracked on the tool on the Offshore Cable section of this site.


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 work and reinstatement for this year in the Chilling area.
  • Due to bad weather and poor ground conditions we will need to return in Spring 2020 to complete a small amount of reinstatement.
  • We will not be mobilising a full site and will keep equipment to a minimum to complete this final work.

Last updated: Wednesday, January 15, 2020

IFA2 looks to the skies to enhance safety

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  • 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 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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