A major undersea power cable in the Solent capable of powering a million homes in Britain has been cut off after suffering a fault.

The IFA2 connects France and Britain, coming ashore at Lee-on-the-Solent near Gosport, but is out of action after it suffered a fault.

Divers last month assessed the cable and the crew on the bright red offshore support vessel Connector are currently working on 'cable maintenance operations'.

The IFA2 is Britain's second link to France and was only made active in January 2021 - decades after the first IFA was commissioned in 1986.

The outage was caused by a suspected cable fault on November 14. It is expected to be out of action until February 21.

IFA2 has a capacity of 1,000 megawatts and when designed was expected to meet 1.2 per cent of Britain's electricity demand.

The interconnector is one of six in Britain run by National Grid, with the latest link to Denmark completed last year.

IFA2 was installed in a bid to reduce carbon emissions in the import and export of electricity.

National Grid hopes its interconnections will "enable the sharing of enough clean electricity to power eight million UK homes" by this year.

A spokesperson told the Echo: “Our IFA2 interconnector to France is on an unplanned outage until 23:00 on 21st February 2024.

"This is due to a suspected cable fault. An investigation is ongoing."