A careful process revolving around many factors.
The route selection is usually the longest process in the lifetime of an interconnector’s project.
Many factors must be considered before selecting a subsea route:
Where possible, areas of rock, boulder clay and sand waves will be avoided as these can create difficulties in burying the cable.
The shortest cable route across designated conservation areas will be taken to minimise disturbance to the marine biological environment.
Careful consideration of the route will be given to avoid all heavily fished areas, anchorage areas, dredging areas, existing marine disposal areas, wrecks, oil and gas infrastructure, offshore wind farms.
A desk-top cable routing study and detailed offshore survey will be undertaken to determine an optimum route through UK and French waters. The environmental impacts of this route will be assessed and an Environmental Report will be issued and publically available.
A seabed survey will be carried out using non-intrusive methods (geophysical) and intrusive methods (geotechnical) to provide information on the seabed type, for both engineering and environmental purposes.
Wherever possible, to minimize the impact to sea users and to marine life, the cable will be buried into the seabed.
For the landfall, as part of the site selection process, all options will identified and the route of the onshore underground cables considering:
The potential marine routes and landings in Guernsey and France are currently the subject of a detailed marine route selection assessment, based on available environmental, engineering and physical data, and consultation with key stakeholders; as part of this process all potential environmental and social sensitivities will be taken into consideration.
A seabed survey was carried out in February 2017. The findings of the survey will be used to characterise the seabed sediments and benthic habitats within the preferred study area in French waters and estimate the potential for cable burial. The survey contractor is currently processing the data which will be key to enable the GF1 technical team to progress the route selection assessment for the Project.