First week of operation for new UK-France interconnector
The new 149-mile interconnector, Interconnexion France-Angleterre 2 (IFA2), that runs between the UK and France has been operational for one week. Linking the Hampshire and Normandy coastlines, the interconnector has been importing and exporting clean electricity between GB and Europe since 20:30 on 22 January 2021.
Interconnector links to the UK
The IFA2 line, which was a project designed to link the GB and French electricity Grid, is a joint venture between National Grid and the French Transmission System Operator, RTE. The cable has a capacity of 1GW, which National Grid say has the capability to power one million homes with clean electricity. IFA2 is the second interconnector between GB and France.
Britain has six interconnectors overall and IFA2 adds to National Grid’s interconnector portfolio, all of which link GB to different European nations through cables under the sea. National Grid jointly owns three of the links connecting to France, the Netherlands, and Belgium. National Grid is also building two more, one to Norway and one to Denmark, which are expected to be completed in 2023. A further six links have also been proposed.
All interconnectors are part of a wider project to transport low carbon electricity between GB and Europe. IFA2 is predicted to prevent 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere per year. By 2030, National Grid predicts that 90% of electricity imported by interconnectors will be from zero carbon sources. This will help contribute to the GB’s goal of reaching Net Zero by 2050.
What has IFA2 been importing and exporting?
IFA2 became operational on 22 January 2021 in Settlement Period 42, 20:30. It imported 982MW during that Settlement period, and continued at or around this level for over 48 hours.
In the early morning of 25 January, the amount of electricity imported slowly began to decrease from 580MW in Settlement Period 11 to 50MW in Settlement Period 14. In Settlement Period 15, IFA2 exported for the first time, sending 708MW from GB to France. The export of electricity lasted for two hours.
Between the afternoon of 25 January and the morning of 29 January, IFA2 consistently changed between importing and exporting electricity. Although, it imported more than it exported. It peaked at 982MW import, and 666MW export during the period.
More information on import and export
Half Hourly interconnector flows
Elexon publishes the average Half Hourly interconnector flows on BMRS, they can be found within 15 minutes of the end of a Settlement Period. Simply select the preferred date range when you visit the page.
Elexon also publishes a detailed breakdown of the GB Generation by Fuel Type on BMRS. The breakdown goes down to the Settlement Period level and can be found in Electricity Data Summary.