The Emerging Plans
To link the electrical grids of the UK and France, AQUIND Interconnector would comprise a substation and converter station on each side of the Channel, with the interconnector running undersea and underground.
The proposals are at an emerging stage and AQUIND is committed to engaging with the local community, local authorities, the Marine Management Organisation and all other interested parties before finalising them. For more information on the consultation, please click on News & Events.
Whilst dependent on the planning process and construction timescales, at present it is estimated that AQUIND Interconnector could supply power to the National Grid in 2022.
The Planning Process
Before AQUIND can construct the interconnector, planning permission must be sought from all the relevant local authorities through which the proposed interconnector would pass. The local authorities AQUIND applies to for permission will depend on the preferred cabling route.
Before submitting these planning applications, AQUIND will carry out extensive consultation on the proposals. This is the best time for local communities to influence the project.
Each Part of the Scheme
The interconnector will run for somewhere between 185 and 200km under the English Channel, and then underground when it reaches the mainland in France and the UK.
The proposed sub-sea cable route has been selected following extensive survey work in order to minimise disruption to fishing/shipping activity and environmental impacts. AQUIND has worked closely with the Marine Management Organisation and other relevant authorities on this aspect of its proposals and will continue to do so moving forward.
The route of the interconnector when it makes landfall is currently subject to detailed optioneering. The interconnector will run underground (and, where possible, under existing highways) to minimise any environmental and visual impact.
The Landing Point
A considerable amount of time has been spent reviewing the options for the location of the landing points in the UK and France, ensuring that the best location is chosen.
Environment, ecology, heritage, neighbouring residents and fishing activity have all informed the decision of the location of the landfall station at xxx (TO BE UPDATED ONCE CONFIRMED).
A transition joint bay (required to connect the marine and land cables) will be installed at the landing point, which will be underground and take approximately four weeks to complete.
The Converter Station
The electrical grids of the UK and France both use Alternating Current (AC). However, Direct Current (DC) will be used to send the electricity along the interconnector, as DC is more efficient in transmitting electricity over large distances.
A new Converter Station will convert the electricity from DC to AC, when it will then connect to the electrical grids on each side of the Channel.
It is currently proposed to locate the Converter Station at Lovedean, close to the existing substation. Detailed optioneering work is being carried out to inform the chosen location of the Converter Station, with a particular focus on the key environmental constraints, including ancient woodland and the boundary of the South Downs National Park.
Locating the Converter Station in the vicinity of the substation is the most environmentally friendly and efficient option.
The substation is where the flow of electricity will connect into the main power grid at both ends of the interconnector.
On the UK side, the interconnector will be routed to an existing substation in Lovedean, Hampshire, where it will connect to the National Grid Transmission System.
To determine the connection point, AQUIND commissioned National Grid to perform extensive studies, which showed that Lovedean substation is the optimal connection location from the South Coast of England.
Using an existing substation will further reduce the project’s environmental impact, making good use of existing facilities.