This is the fourth submarine interconnection to the continent and the second to France, and will allow the sharing of surplus clean energy between the two countries, the network operator said.
National Grid is also developing cables along the seabed to Denmark to access wind power, as well as to Norway, to connect to hydroelectric power sources.
The company said that by 2024, its interconnection portfolio would provide enough zero-carbon energy to power eight million homes per year, thus avoiding a total of 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
As the UK expands its offshore wind farms, the interconnections will also allow Britain to sell excess renewable energy to other countries.
The latest cable, known as IFA2, is expected to meet 1.2% of Britain’s electricity needs, and by the end of its first year of operation it will have saved 1, 2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide do not enter the atmosphere by supplying electricity from the French nuclear fleet. , National Grid said.
The £ 700million joint project with French operator RTE remained on schedule and on budget despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the company added.
Jon Butterworth, Managing Director of National Grid Ventures, said: “As the world focuses on the pandemic and manages the ripple effects on our lives, we know that progress towards net zero cannot afford to falter. and Britain must continue. accelerate the reduction of harmful carbon emissions.
“The launch of the IFA2 interconnector, connecting the French and British electricity grids, is an important step in accelerating our progress towards a cleaner and greener future.