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UK MMO approves 1GW UK-France electricity interconnector project

The UK Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has issued a comprehensive decision for the 1000MW Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA2) link project.

The high voltage direct current (HVDC) project, under the TEN-E Regulations, has received all of the required statutory consents in UK consenting regime. It is planned to be commissioned in 2020.

Planned to run from Normandy in France to Hampshire in England, the HVDC link is being developed by a joint venture of National Grid IFA2, a part of National GridUK, and RTE.

MMO senior marine licensing manager Matthew Kinmond said: “This is the first comprehensive decision from the MMO under the TEN-E Regulations and the first in the UK for a cross-border and multiple consenting regime interconnector project.”

National Grid IFA2 head Dave Luetchford said: “Enhancing Great Britain’s energy connection to France will bring a number of benefits, including increasing security of electricity supplies for both countries and providing opportunities for shared use of renewable energy.”

The interconnection project, which will operate at ± 320 kV DC cable system, comprises approximately 25km route length in France, running from Tourbe converter station in Northern France to the landing point close to Caen.

Prysmian will design, manufacture and install a submarine and land power cable link to connect Tourbe in France to Chilling in Hampshire of the UK.

In April, ABB had won €270m from the UK grid operator National Grid and Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (RTE) to key HVDC (high-voltage direct current) technology for the link.

ABB will be responsible for providing two high-voltage direct current HVDC Light converter stations, which will be installed in France and England. The converter stations will be linked with a subsea cable.

Image: The HVDC technology can effectively transmit large amounts of electricity over long distances with minimum losses. Photo: courtesy of ABB/Business Wire.