Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Plans for French electricity interconnector IFA2 in Fareham released

National Grid plans for interconnector convertor buildings Image copyright National Grid
Image caption Early designs for the interconnector convertor buildings have been released

Plans for a new interconnector to allow electricity to be exchanged between the Hampshire coast and northern France have been announced.

The National Grid's IFA2 project would see a convertor station built at Daedalus airfield in Fareham, linked to a facility in Normandy.

The former navy base is owned by Fareham Borough Council.

A National Grid statement said it would enhance "security, affordability and sustainability" of energy supply.

The new high voltage direct current (HVDC) project would be the second interconnector to France.

It would be capable of transferring 1000MW of electricity between Britain and France, enough to power a million homes, according to the National Grid.

More than 120 miles (200km) of undersea cables would be laid between the two countries as part of the project.

'Protect landscape'

Project director Morris Bray said: "Interconnectors have an increasingly important role to play in providing alternative sources of electricity for this country and keeping supplies safe, secure and affordable."

Councillor Seán Woodward, the leader of Fareham Borough Council, said the authority had pressed for the Daedalus site to be used, rather than the network connection point at nearby Chilling, to protect the coastal landscape.

"This will mean large buildings and the council will seek very high quality designs. I am sure that residents in the immediate area of both facilities will want to have their say on any proposals in the future," he said.

The council is due to decide on whether to sell the land to the National Grid, subject to planning permission.

Plans for the infrastructure project are to go on display at a series of public events in the Fareham and Gosport area during December.

The National Grid said it was aiming for IFA2 to be operational by 2020.

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