Location: Eurotunnel Ashford Road Folkestone CT18 8XX
The ElecLink project is a HVDC electrical interconnector between the UK and France, passing through the Channel Tunnel. The ElecLink interconnector is one of the most advanced new interconnection projects across Europe and the first of its kind between Britain and France since 1986 and the first UK interconnector to be entirely funded by private finance.
The 51 km DC cable runs between converter stations at Peuplingues in France and Folkestone in the UK, with an additional 14.5 km of underground AC cable on the English side, and 3.5 km on the French side, to link the converter stations to the existing transmission networks.
The interconnector provides 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.
The interconnector is to pass through the north running tunnel and consists of the following primary components:
- Two HVDC converter stations in Folkestone (William Coates Project), UK and Peuplingues, France;
- 51 km of HVDC cables inside the north running tunnel;
- 14.5 km of underground AC cable on British soil to link the Folkestone converter station with the substation of NGET in Sellindge;
- 3.5 km of underground AC cable on French soil to link the converter station in Peuplingues with the substation of RTE in Les Mandarins;
- Switchgear and associated electrical connection equipment at the NGET substation in Sellindge
- Switchgear and associated electrical connection equipment at the RTE substation in Les Mandarins.
Security of the site was a major consideration of the William Coates team and we worked with the Main Contractor to ensure necessary provisions were employed throughout the project. Access to the site including deliveries was complex due to its proximity with the Eurotunnel. All deliveries and people movements were agreed with the Employer using the correct communication channels. To ensure minimal disruption, distribution networks using the tunnel was analysed to understand their peak hours and with our deliveries programmed outside their busiest hours.
The HVDC cables forming part of the ElecLink interconnector were located in the Channel Tunnel’s north rail tunnel. This gave practical benefits associated with having primary utilities, including cooling equipment, already installed.
ElecLink project had very low environment impact by making use of the existing Channel Tunnel infrastructure for its cable system, thus avoiding any interference with marine life. The success of our approach is evidenced in the excellent H&S record from our team in a complex delivery site.
- One Gigawatt (1000 MW) Direct Current interconnector linking the electricity markets of Britain and France via the Channel Tunnel.
- Providing power to power more than 1.5 million households
- Increase of 50% on the current level
- Expected net social welfare benefits are estimated in the region of €0.6 billion over the economic lifetime
- Carbon emission reductions of approximately 6.1 million tonnes CO2 up to 2030.
Mechanical Services Installed at Eleclink Include;
- Domestic Water
- Above Ground Drainage
- Fire Protection
- Building Management System
Electrical Services Installed at Eleclink Include;
- Main switchboard installation including change-over sequencing
- Sub-mains distribution
- Fire Alarm detection system
- Aspirating detection system
- Intruder detection including door monitoring system
- Data/Telephone installation
- General Lighting
- Self-contained Emergency light system
- Central battery Emergency light system
- General power
- Infra-red and ultraviolet detection system
- UPS System
- Chain hoist system
- Lightning protection system
- Testing and Commissioning