AQUIND Limited (‘AQUIND’) is developing proposals to build a new High Voltage Direct Current (‘HVDC’) marine and underground electric power transmission link between the south of England and Normandy in France – AQUIND Interconnector.
AQUIND Interconnector is comprised of three principal elements, being the onshore elements in Great Britain, the marine elements between the UK and French coastlines and the onshore elements in France.
The interconnector will have capacity to transmit approximately 5% of Great Britain’s total electricity consumption – enough to keep the lights on in up to 4 million British households.
It will make a significant contribution to improving Great Britain’s security of electricity supply and achieving greater affordability by improving competition, making the country’s energy market more efficient and enabling greater energy flexibility. It will also help to integrate a greater proportion of non-fossil fuel energy sources and intermittent renewables generation into Great Britain’s energy mix.UK onshore elements
- Works at the existing National Grid Lovedean substation in Hampshire where AQUIND Interconnector will connect to the existing GB grid;
- Underground alternating current (‘AC’) cables, connecting Lovedean substation to the proposed nearby converter station;
- The construction of a converter station comprising a mix of buildings and outdoor electrical equipment. The building roofline will vary in height but will be approximately 22 m at its peak, and may also include lightning masts;
- Two pairs of direct current (‘DC’) cables with one fibre optic cable of smaller diameter per pair of cables for data transmission from the proposed landfall site in Eastney (near Portsmouth) to the converter station at Lovedean. The cables will be approximately 20 km in length and the intention is to locate the cables within existing highway or road verges where practicable.
Four marine cables between England and France, which can be bundled in pairs, and a smaller diameter fibre optic cable per pair of marine cables for data transmission. The marine cable route can be divided into the following sections:
- Approximately 47 km within the UK territorial limit, i.e. 12 nautical miles from the mean high water mark;
- Approximately 53 km from the UK territorial limit to the boundary of the Exclusive Economic Zone (‘EEZ’);
- Approximately 58 km from the boundary of the EEZ to the French territorial limit;
- Approximately 29 km within the French territorial limit, i.e. 12 nautical miles from the mean high water mark.
In July 2018 the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy directed that AQUIND Interconnector should be treated as a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (‘NSIP’). This means that the construction and operation of AQUIND Interconnector can only be consented by a Development Consent Order (‘DCO’) made by the Secretary of State under the Planning Act 2008.
AQUIND anticipates the DCO application for the Proposed Scheme will be submitted in 2019 after pre-application consultation has been undertaken and the findings have been fully considered when further developing and refining the proposals. It is estimated that AQUIND Interconnector will become operational in 2022.
A detailed EIA Scoping Report was submitted to the Secretary of State in October 2018. Consultation responses from the RYA, MCA, Trinity House, The Langstone Harbour Board and the MoD were incorporated into the MMO Scoping Opinion.
The Scoping Report recognises that the area in and around the Solent and the Isle of Wight is popular for recreational purposes such as angling, sailing, racing and water skiing. The RYA UK Coastal Atlas of recreational boating has provided data of activity within the proximity of the cable corridor.
Navigational Risk Assessment
In order to inform the full impact assessment, a NRA will require to be carried out; this will include a baseline study which will summarise the available background navigation data and focus on any key shipping routes and / or anchoring areas and fishing activity in the vicinity of the cable corridor.
Hazards will be identified and ranked and quantified where appropriate to inform the level of impact during both installation and operation, with appropriate mitigation measures identified.
The Rt Hon Claire Perry MP, Minister of State for Energy & Clean Growth, says: “The Government’s priority is to maintain affordable, clean, and secure energy supplies for businesses and households. We share the EU’s ambition to make energy trading easier and more efficient by opening up national markets, and increasing the level of interconnection between them.”
For more information
If you have any questions, would like further information AQUIND Interconnector you can contact the AQUIND Community Engagement Team via:
Freephone: 01962 893 869
Freepost: AQUIND CONSULTATION
Image courtesy and copyright of Andy Le Gresley Photography