UK-France interconnector under way via Channel Tunnel

Posted: February 26, 2017 by oldbrew in Energy, News
Tags: ,

Channel Tunnel [image credit: BBC]

Channel Tunnel [image credit: BBC]


The project is described as ‘vital’, which may raise questions about the present state of these two national grid systems. The idea that it will help support increased electric car use – that’s one of its claims – is a bit weak as so few people want them.

A major new project to install an interconnector linking the electricity markets of Britain and France via the Channel Tunnel has just put down its foundations, reports PEI.

The foundation stone of the Folkestone Converter Station was laid on Thursday by Jesse Norman, UK Minister for Industry and Energy. The ElecLink 1 GW Direct Current link is expected to cost around £580m.

The project will generate approximately 300 new jobs during the construction phase together with ongoing jobs needed for the operations and maintenance throughout the life of the project.

The interconnector will provide enough capacity for more than 1.65 million homes per year, increasing the current Anglo-French exchange capacity by one half, and enhancing the security of electricity supply for industrial and business consumers.

ElecLink will help to solve the ‘energy trilemma’ identified by the World Energy Council by maintaining security of supply, transitioning to a ”cleaner” economy and keeping prices low for consumers as future electric demand increases and adapts to population growth and the adoption of new transport modes for example electric cars.

ElecLink will have a very low environmental impact by making use of the existing Channel Tunnel infrastructure for its cable system, thus avoiding any interference with marine life. It is also expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 6 million tonnes by enabling demand in Britain and France to be met by the most efficient generating plants.

The report continues here.

Comments
  1. AlecM says:

    1 GW compared with the need for 25 GW electric cars…………..

  2. p.g.sharrow says:

    Er………..Just where is all this electric power going to be generated?…pg

  3. TinyCO2 says:

    Isn’t France debating the end of nuclear? How much of Europe is depending upon it right now and where would we be when we’ve left the EU and there’s a shortage?

  4. AlecM says:

    As for trucks: add another 40 GW.

  5. oldbrew says:

    If you highlight the ‘French ICT’ dial (link below) a pop-up describes briefly how the existing interconnector works.

    http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

  6. catweazle666 says:

    Aren’t the French going to want any juice for their EV’s then?

  7. Curious George says:

    “enough capacity for more than 1.65 million homes per year.” Would that be 165 million homes in 100 years?

  8. Joe Public says:

    Crafty EU.

    The European Council of October 2014 called for all Member States to achieve interconnection of at least 10% of their installed electricity production capacity by 2020. This means that each Member State should have in place electricity cables that allow at least 10% of the electricity that is produced by their power plants to be transported across its borders to its neighbouring countries.

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-4486_en.htm

    Based upon our solar having a crap Capacity Factor of 14.4%; Onshore wind 20.9%; Offshore wind 31.5%, our ineffective intermittents have a hidden extra cost – over-engineered interconnectors.

    Source: Bottom of Table 6.1

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/579527/Renewables.pdf

  9. oldbrew says:

    There are interconnectors and then there are [maybe] superconnectors…
    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/french-giant-signs-up-to-help-icelandic-volcanoes-power-uk-homes/

    See also: The European super grid – “it is always windy somewhere”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_super_grid

  10. Graeme No.3 says:

    oldbrew:
    Thank you for the wikipedia link; I always like to start the day with a good laugh.
    Kazakhstan? Or is this the start of the super cable to bring cheap Chinese coal fired power to Europe? Wouldn’t it be far cheaper to fix the mess that the EU bureaucrats have made of the power supply?

  11. oldbrew says:

    Graeme – they like to think big in EU HQ in Brussels 😉

  12. suricat says:

    “The ElecLink 1 GW Direct Current link is expected to cost around £580m.”

    What a waste of time. The ‘London Transport Underground’ system uses a ‘D.C.’ rail electrical power supply to power their trains, and because of this a ‘D.C. booster station’ powered by an ‘A.C. transformer with rectifier’ is required for ~every mile of track.

    http://www.trainweb.org/tubeprune/tractioncurr.htm#Traction Current Supply

    There is just ‘too much resistance’ over greater distances (I do realise that some of the ‘gaps’ there are made for safety purposes, ever seen the two bright ‘copper wires’ that run parallel at window height on one side of the tunnel, reach out of the window and press them into contact and the driver can isolate the local length of track between stations to decant passengers).

    Run/lay another ‘cable’ on the sea bed where heat generation is removed by the sea-water, but a D.C. cable in the ‘service link’ of the ‘Chunnel’ will need much COOLING. Surely its far better to send A.C. power, convert to D.C. upon receipt, then re-generate A.C. for local distribution (UK 50Hz, France 60Hz). An ‘iron cable shroud’ to prevent ‘EM emission’ should be preferable to an ‘external cooling system’ for the link.

    I know I said that I’m on a ‘sabbatical’ oldbrew, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t ‘pop my nib in’ (write) where/when I think a variant input would give import to your/a post.

    I’m ‘uninstalling’ ‘WordPress’ to see if this makes a difference! It didn’t! The current problem with our communication seems to be a ‘contradiction’ of ‘avatar’ within the ‘Gravitar’ system! WordPress re-assigned my ‘gravitar’ avatar and the ‘WordPress’ system doesn’t recognise this change!

    Its WordPress that buggered our coms OB.

    Best regards, Ray.

  13. suricat says:

    At last!

  14. oldbrew says:

    Yes WordPress (and/or maybe Google Chrome?) can be a bit strange. When I view a Talkshop page at 125% zoom my avatar shows but at 110% it gets replaced by a green/white pattern 😐

  15. oldbrew says:

    There’s another UK-France interconnector on the drawing board called IFA 2 (Channel Tunnel = IFA 1).
    It was granted a Marine Licence on the 27th January.

    IFA2 is a 1,000 MW high voltage direct current (HVDC) electrical interconnector between the British and French transmission systems.
    http://www.ifa2interconnector.com/

    It would run from Fareham to Caen.

    Technical tour video here
    http://www.ifa2interconnector.com/news/?show=November%202016

  16. What happens where there’s a fire in the tunnel?
    [Not unprecedented!]

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