IFA 1, the electrical interconnection between France and the United Kingdom, is expected to return to normal by the end of January 2023.
An untimely delay
IFA 1 suffered a fire damage causing a delay for the first power up. In September 2021, the facility suffered a fire at the IFA 1 converter station in Sellindge, Kent. Thus, only one pole with 1GW remained available.
The increase in power to 500MW was to take place on December 22. The full return to 1GW would now occur by the end of January 2023. The update also calls for a six-day outage for the 1 GW hub from January 17 to 23.
The return to full capacity of the IFA 1 interconnection will see its capacity increase to 2GW. However, National Grid and RTE are announcing possible supply interruptions this winter. Indeed, the extremely cold weather conditions with low wind make other breakdowns possible.
A rebalancing of exchanges
The cold snap in early December saw overnight electricity prices in the UK reach record levels. However, the system was able to cope with peaks in demand. In addition, French nuclear generation improved by about 10GW at the end of November.
In addition, for January, French electricity lost its premium over British prices. At the beginning of December, the price per MWh was €279.14. In the UK, at the same date, the price reached €287.34.
The monthly flows are likely in this situation to turn into a net import to the UK. However, net exports to France were at their highest level for a long time. Finally, in France and the United Kingdom, electricity demand is showing signs of slowing down.