All you need to know about £500m power station in Lee-on-the-Solent

Artist impressions of the proposed �500m electrical power station

Artist impressions of the proposed �500m electrical power station

Hannah Eade (14) and Marianne Osman (14).

Picture: Sarah Standing

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WHAT’S AN INTERCONNECTOR?

It is a connection between the electricity systems of different countries.

An interconnector allows countries to exchange power, helping to ensure safe, secure and affordable energy supplies. The connection is made via high-voltage subsea cables, passing through French and British waters.

In simple terms, an interconnector is made up of two converter stations – one in each country – connected by cables.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

To meet rising energy demands, National Grid is looking to join the UK’s electricity transmission system to other countries’ networks via interconnectors.

Links with France, known as IFA (Interconnexion France Angleterre), and the Netherlands, known as BritNed, have already been developed.

SO THIS IS THE SECOND ONE TO FRANCE?

Yes, the project linking Daedalus to Caen will be IFA2.

The UK landing point for the first IFA’s sub-sea cables is near Folkestone, Kent. This is connected via approximately 30 miles of subsea cable to Calais.

From Folkestone, underground cables connect to Sellindge converter station and then on to the GB transmission system.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT

LEE-ON-THE-SOLENT?

A large building will house the converter station, which will convert electricity between Alternating Current (AC) and Direct Current (DC).

AC is used in each country’s transmission system, while DC is used for sending electricity along the high voltage subsea cables.

WHAT ABOUT THE FRENCH?

Reseau de Transport d’Electricite is the French network owner and operator, which will have responsibility for the French elements of the project.

WHY IS IT NEEDED?

The project will contribute to European energy policy objectives - helping Great Britain towards a minimum 10 per cent interconnection target. It should also mean that consumer electricity prices will reduce due to the access to imports of lower price energy from Europe.

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