Channel Cable

UK-FRANCE ELECTRICITY INTERCONNECTOR

Channel Cable HVDC Interconnector is a major energy infrastructure initiative allowing the exchange of electricity between Great Britain and France. Approximately 130 kilometres in length and lying 90 meters beneath the English Channel, Channel Cable will enhance security of supply on both sides of the sea. Flexible hydro power and efficient nuclear from France and North West Europe will help to meet the peak demand in Great Britain, and facilitate trading of power between markets. This will lead to greater efficient use of existing generation resources.

Long-Term Capacity Rights

The capacity to meet expected demand should be measured in both the short-term and the long-term. We can offer longer term options.

HVDC Submarine Cables

The entire cable component connecting Great Britain and France will be totally underground, using high tech HVDC technology.

Environmental Respect

Channel Cable is committed to the safe and environmentally friendly construction and operation of its UK-France Interconnector.

Capacity Open Season

The entire capacity of Channel Cable available to all market participants via a non-discriminatory open season process.

The Cable

Completely Buried with Zero Electro Magnetic Field

The Channel Cable interconnector system consists of two (2) power cables and one (1) fiber optic cable that are bundled together. Each power cable is made specifically for High Voltage Direct Current transfer and its strength and flexibility are ideal for a submarine cable. The cable consists of steel armor and solid flexible plastic to protect and insulate the copper wire. It measures approx. 12 cm in diameter and contains no insulating and/or cooling fluids.

Installing Cable

Both cables of the Channel Cable interconnector system are laid together. The submarine cables have steel armouring to help protect them.

Installation of the cables is scheduled to minimise environmental impacts. For example, so as not to interfere with critical fisheries and fish spawning seasons.

In preparation for cable laying, the seabed is surveyed with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to ensure cable lay safety and to confirm the seabed data gathered during the lengthy route planning phase. Additionally, in some locations along the route, the strategic placement of coarse gravel is necessary to create a stable base on which the cable can rest. In some other locations an underwater plough will create trenches for additional cable burial protection. Where additional cable protection is deemed necessary at certain locations along the route, large rock boulders will be placed over the buried cable areas.

Terrestrial cable routes are subject to a route selection was based on:

  • Environmental studies
  • Technical feasibility
  • Consultation
  • Low environmental impact
  • Existing utilities

Using areas that are already designated as utility rights-of-way reduces disturbance to the environment. Because the cable will be buried, there is no visual impact and continued transportation, recreation and agricultural usage of the overlying land will be unchanged.