Operated by National Grid in the UK and Réseau de Transport d'Electricité (RTE) in France, the “Interconnexion France-Angleterre 2” (IFA2) strengthens the integration and exchange of renewable energy between the two countries and further integration of the European power grid.
Hitachi Energy was contracted to provide the high-voltage direct current (HVDC) technology that enables efficient interconnection between the electricity networks with minimal losses.
With a capacity of 1000 megawatts, the link runs from Chilling, Hampshire, on the southern coast of England to Tourbe in northern France, covering a distance of 240 kilometers across the English Channel and is an essential step to integrate the English and French electricity markets further.
Hitachi Energy has provided the two HVDC Light® converter stations, located in France and England, linked with a subsea cable. Each station converts alternating current electricity into direct current and then back again before distribution into the AC grid. HVDC technology enables the efficient and reliable transmission of large amounts of electricity over long distances, with minimum losses. Hitachi Energy's HVDC Light® technology also incorporates advanced features to support grid stability and power restoration in the event of an outage. These features provide economic benefits for the network operator and reliable electricity supply to the end-users.
The converter stations are equipped with Hitachi Energy's advanced MACHTM control and protection system. MACH acts like the brain of the HVDC link – monitoring and controlling to ensure the reliability of power supplies. It also incorporates advanced fault registration and remote control functions, protecting the link from unexpected disruptions, such as lightning strikes.