The Channel Tunnel’s operator is planning a €250 million project to boost the capacity of the interconnector between France and the UK.
The current link between the two countries, the IFA 2000, was installed in 1986 and its capacity has not been increased since then. Growing demand for electricity on both sides of the Channel means that it is no longer sufficient.
Groupe Eurotunnel and its funding partner STAR Capital Partners will install a 500MW interconnection, expected to increase cross Channel capacity by 25% to 2500MW.
The partners in the joint venture say it will be a major step towards European energy integration. The move could strengthen calls for a Europe-wide Supergrid, with France recently also agreeing to plans for a new underground interconnector with Spain.
The ElecLink will be made up of two Direct Current (DC) cables through the tunnel, connecting the National Grid’s substation at Sellindge with France’s RTE “Les Mandarins” substation.
A spokesperson for Eurotunnel told ELN that work to install the ElecLink, which should be in service from 2015, would not affect passengers on the Eurotunnel’s normal services.