Frequently Asked Questions
Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions. If you cannot find an answer to your question, please use the contact details provided to get in touch with the project team.
How much electricity will AQUIND Interconnector be able to supply?
It is estimated that AQUIND Interconnector will have sufficient capacity to transmit up to 16,000,000 MWh of electricity annually between GB and France, accounting for approximately 5% and 3% of their respective total electricity consumption and enough to keep the lights on in up to four million British households*.
* Based on the average household electricity consumption of 4MWh/year, DECC, Energy Consumption in the UK (2015), Chapter 3, p. 7, http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20160510033717/https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/energyconsumption-in-the-uk.
Who will pay for AQUIND Interconnector? Will it cost the UK taxpayer?
AQUIND Interconnector. AQUIND is not associated with any UK or European utilities or national electricity transmission system operators. AQUIND Interconnector is being developed as a private project without government subsidies.
Why connect the UK and France?
France’s proximity to the UK makes it a logical linkage point for an interconnector. Existing interconnectors between England and France have proven successful.
How will AQUIND Interconnector affect electricity prices?
AQUIND Interconnector will make a significant contribution to improving GB’s security of electricity supply and achieving greater affordability by improving competition, making the GB energy market more efficient and enabling greater energy flexibility. This should ultimately benefit consumers via increased access to lower prices due to competitive pressures on domestic energy generators.
What will be done to mitigate any environmental impacts?
Extensive studies and detailed optioneering have been undertaken to inform the development of the offshore and onshore cable routes, as well as the landing point and converter station sites.
Due to the environmental and human sensitivities within and surrounding the Development the decision has been taken to voluntarily undertake an Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) for the Development and to submit an Environmental Statement (‘ES’) in support of any application for consent to report any likely significant environmental effects.
The purpose of the ES is to identify any likely significant environmental effects which may be caused by the project, together with any proposed mitigation.
How will construction be managed?
The construction phase for the onshore elements has the potential to give rise to impacts for a temporary period.
AQUIND will work closely with the relevant local authorities in the UK to establish a Construction Environmental Management Plan (CEMP) which will achieve the following:
- Provide a mechanism for ensuring that measures to mitigate potentially adverse environmental impacts are implemented
- Ensure that standards of good construction practice are adopted throughout the construction;
- Provide a framework for mitigating impacts that may be unforeseen or unidentified until construction is underway
- Provide assurance to third parties that their requirements with respect to environmental performance will be met
- Provide a framework for compliance auditing and inspection to enable the principal contractor to be assured that its aims with respect to environmental performance are being met
The CEMP will mitigate the impact of construction traffic on congestion, specifically during peak hours, and set out best practice in terms of acceptable operating hours to minimise any disruption to local residents.
Construction work affecting local roads will be staged, with every effort taken to ensure that local road closures will be limited to one lane at any one time, as opposed to a total closure. It is also proposed that, during the construction process, only short sections of road will be affected in order to minimise congestion and disruption to local roads and infrastructure.
Regarding the offshore element, AQUIND will work closely with the local and national level stakeholders who have the potential be impacted by the installation activities in order to inform them of when activities would take place and help manage any impact.
How will AQUIND consult on the proposals?
AQUIND is committed to engaging with stakeholders regarding its proposals. Further details of our forthcoming consultation with the local community will be made available on this website in due course and will be extensively publicised locally.
Consultation is an important part of the development consent process and the Planning Act requires developers of Nationally Significant Infrastructure projects to publicise their proposals widely and consult with the local community, local authorities, statutory bodies and persons with an interest in land potentially affected by the proposed development.
This process is referred to as ‘pre-application consultation’ and must be carried out before an application for a DCO can be accepted by the Planning Inspectorate on behalf of the Secretary of State.
Our pre-application consultation will be important in understanding your views on what is being proposed and shaping the proposed development. It will also be important in relation to the examination process that follows and once an application is accepted for examination by the Planning Inspectorate.
What impact will Brexit have on this project?
The UK Government’s policy on interconnectors has not changed since the EU referendum in June 2016.
Why is Eastney identified as the preferred landing point location?
Eastney was chosen as the preferred option after an extensive optioneering process which took account of a wide range of factors.
The search for an appropriate landing point began in 2014/15 with 29 possible landing points being identified between Weymouth, in the west, and Bognor Regis, in the east.
When Lovedean was identified by National Grid as the preferred grid connection point, a total of seven potential landing points were prioritised accordingly.
These landing points were then subjected to a further detailed study to assess them against a total of 23 engineering and environmental Criteria. As a result of this work, Eastney, Hayling Island and East Wittering were shortlisted as potential landing points.
Hayling Island was subsequently removed from the shortlist. This was primarily due to the requirement to cross Chichester / Langstone Harbour at Langstone Bridge. The bridge crossing was considered not viable, whilst Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) would be difficult at the appropriate location.
A more detailed review of East Wittering and Eastney was undertaken from a marine cable installation perspective, and in discussion with experienced marine installation contractors. Eastney was eventually chosen as the preferred option in order to minimise the length of the cable route between the landfall location and converter station location, and to minimise environmental impacts.
Why is Lovedean identified as the preferred converter station location?
Lovedean substation in Hampshire was identified as the optimal connection location for AQUIND Interconnector following an assessment by National Grid who have an obligation to develop and maintain an efficient, coordinated and economical electricity transmission network. The assessment considers factors such as National Grid’s knowledge of the existing network (including agreed future connections), agreed cost information, environmental considerations and other constraints associated with the project, alongside input from AQUIND on the details of the assets to be connected.
The converter station needs to be located as close as possible to the substation, in order to minimise the length of AC cable used as part of the Interconnector. This is because AC cables take up a wider corridor of land when compared to DC cables. Therefore, in order to reduce impact on land, it is favourable to maximise the use of DC cables, which take up a considerably narrower corridor compared to AC cables. AC cables also have higher transmission losses and pose other technical challenges, meaning that a longer AC cable would partly offset and reduce the benefits of the Interconnector.