National Grid launches 149-mile-long Franco-British subsea cable to power 1m homes

By the end of its first year in operation, IFA2 is predicted to avoid 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

Underwater cable being laid

A new subsea power cable to France which could power one million homes with renewable energy has been launched by National Grid.

The 149-mile-long power cable runs along the sea bed between Portsmouth, Hampshire in the UK and near Caen, Normandy in France will soon share surplus clean energy between the two countries – electricity is currently being run through the cable for testing before going live.

The IFA2 interconnector is forecast to deliver 1.2% of Britain’s electricity needs, enough to power up to one million homes with renewable energy.

By the end of its first year in operation, IFA2 is predicted to avoid 1.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which is equivalent to planting 50 million trees.

Jon Butterworth, CEO of National Grid Ventures, said: “While the world is focused on the pandemic and managing the knock-on effects on our lives, we know that progress towards net zero can’t afford to falter and Britain needs to keep up the momentum in reducing harmful carbon emissions.”

Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, commented: “Recent government commitments to the development of our offshore wind infrastructure show how the UK is a world leader in low carbon energy generation and the IFA2 will allow us to share those benefits with our friends and neighbours in France.”

National Grid’s three existing interconnectors power the equivalent of five million homes with zero-carbon energy.

This is expected to increase to eight million homes a year by 2024, as three more interconnectors are completed, avoiding a total of 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, equivalent to taking two million cars off the road.

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