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After a fire at a National Grid site shut down a power cable linking electricity supplies between the UK and France, Fisher German’s Matthew Hodgetts speaks about the importance of interconnectors.

National Grid has reported that a fire and planned maintenance at its IFA1 interconnector site near Ashford in Kent will result in a cable running between the UK and France being totally offline until 25 September.

Due to this, we have seen energy prices rise dramatically in a very short space of time, demonstrating what happens when we lose just one international link and how heavily we rely on the ability to trade with other European nations.

Fisher German has worked on a number of interconnector projects for both National Grid and its venture companies, one of the most recent being IFA2.
This second link between Britain and France, which is currently operating at its full capacity and is not affected by the problem with IFA1, became operational at the end of 2020 and is capable of exchanging 1,000MW of power, enough to run more than 1,000,000 homes.

The five-year project saw our teams deliver land services in relation to linking the cable to the IFA2 converter station near Portsmouth, working with landowners and other affected parties, contractors and National Grid to ensure the works could take place.

Interconnectors play an essential part in dealing with the supply and demand energy curve, enabling us to both trade excess energy while also ensuring that we have enough power should there be a shortfall. They are particularly important for the future of our infrastructure as more and more of our electricity is generated from renewables, which has a slightly more volatile profile.

It is excellent that we at Fisher German can be at the forefront of such projects, helping deliver solutions for a sustainable future.

To find out more about the work we do supporting national infrastructure projects, click here.

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