New UK-France Interconnection Project Moves Forward

The IFA2 (Interconnexion France-Angleterre) interconnector attained all of the required UK statutory consents, and Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has now issued a comprehensive decision for the project under the TEN-E Regulations.

Image source: National Grid UK

The IFA2 interconnector is a 1GW high voltage direct current (HVDC) link developed by UK’s National Grid IFA2 Ltd and France’s RTE, planned to be commissioned in 2020.

The HVDC cable system comprises approximately 25km route length in France, running from Tourbe converter station in Northern France to the landing point close to Caen. The subsea route is just over 200km across the English Channel and will land at the south coast of the UK at Solent Airport near Fareham where the UK converter station is to be located. In addition to the HVDC cable link, a high voltage alternating current (HVAC) link will connect the converter station to a local substation in Chilling, UK, which includes 2km land sections at each end with a 5 km subsea section between them.


The subsea and land cables will be delivered by Prysmian, who will also install the offshore cables by using cable laying vessels Cable Enterprise and Ulisse. ABB will provide two HVDCLight® converter stations, to be located in France and England.

Aside from the IFA2 and IFA1 (operating since 1986), France and the UK will also have a 1GW interconnection as part of the ElecLink interconnector, which will run through the Channel Tunnel, with no subsea lay or burial in the Channel. The ElecLink, currently under construction, is also scheduled to be put into operation in 2020.

Offshore WIND Staff

Photo: Image source: National Grid UK

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