TEP was appointed to provide planning and environmental services for the onshore elements of the IFA2 project in the UK. IFA2 is a proposed high voltage direct current (HVDC) bi-directional electricity interconnector between Tourbe in Normandy and Chilling in Hampshire. It is a joint venture between National Grid IFA2 Ltd (part of National Grid Group) and Reseau de Transport d’Electricite (RTE, the French Transmission owner and operator). The project will connect the British and French electricity networks enabling the import and export of power between the two countries improving energy security and improving use of resources across Europe.
TEP carried out environmental feasibility studies in conjunction with marine consultants and technical specialists and liaised with the relevant Local Planning Authorities and statutory consultees. This resulted in the identification of a preferred converter station site adjacent Daedalus Airfield in Fareham, with a submarine cable connection between the converter station and the grid connection point along the coast at Chilling.
TEP undertook detailed environmental assessments of the onshore elements of the proposed interconnector. TEP’s in-house consultants worked with the wider project team to develop mitigation measures to minimise effects and address concerns raised through stakeholder consultation. This work included consideration of the siting and form of the converter station buildings and the exterior colour and finish to aid its integration into the existing landscape and adjacent proposed public open space. Recommendations were also made for ecological mitigation measures to address concerns relating to potential effects of the installation of the underground cables on protected species including overwintering Brent Geese (a qualifying species of the Southampton Water SPA) and dormice.
TEP coordinated the planning application and prepared accompanying documents including the Environmental Statement, information to inform a Habitats Regulations Assessment (to consider the effects on Southampton Water SPA), the Design and Access Statement and the Planning Statement.
The onshore proposals were granted outline planning consent in early 2017 and TEP is continuing to support the client in the reserved matters applications and discharge of planning conditions.