IFA2 interconnector pays off carbon cost in less than a year

National Grid’s IFA2 interconnector has saved 300,000 tonnes of carbon in its first year, paying off the carbon cost of building it, the network operator has revealed.

The 120 mile long 1GW electricity cable, which connects Lee-on-Solent near Portsmouth and Caen in northwest France, was commissioned in January last year. The carbon savings came by importing nuclear energy from France.

National Grid said the 300,000 tonne saving is 10,000 tonnes more than the entire amount of carbon emitted both during its four-year construction and in the running of the asset over its lifetime.

IFA, which started operating in 1986, and IFA2 are part of a portfolio of interconnectors owned and operated by National Grid and other European companies.

The BritNed link to The Netherlands, the Nemo Link to Belgium and the North Sea Link to Norway, which was commissioned in October last year, are also operated by National Grid.

A sixth interconnector, the Viking Link, is under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. It will link Bicker Fen in Lincolnshire to Revsing in Denmark and will be able to import enough clean electricity to power a further 1.4 million UK homes.

By 2024, National Grid said its interconnectors will enable the sharing of enough clean electricity to power 8 million UK homes.

Nicola Medalova, managing director for interconnectors at National Grid, said: “This is fantastic news and highlights the critical role that interconnectors like IFA2 are playing in delivering a cleaner, more secure and more affordable energy system for UK consumers.

“By 2030, we estimate our interconnectors, including IFA2, will have saved the UK around 100 million tonnes of CO2 by enabling the fast and flexible sharing of clean and green energy with our European neighbours.”