EU provides €4M push to link France and Ireland

The Celtic Interconnector (Image: INEA)

European Commission (EC) is set to award €4 million for a project to build an electricity link between France and Ireland.

The link, known as the Celtic Interconnector, will make it possible for energy to be traded more freely between EU countries, enhancing Ireland’s security of energy supply and allowing the integration of more renewables into the European energy system, EC said.

Ireland’s state-owned company that manages and operates the transmission grid in the country EirGrid and its French counterpart Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE) as project promoters, along with representatives of the EC and French and Irish governments, will sign the grant agreement in Brussels on June 28, 2017.

The new funding, which also comes from EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), will finance a study that will cover the project’s detailed design, a public consultation, and preparation for its construction.

When built, the Celtic Interconnector will consist of around 600 km of cables on the seabed between France and Ireland.

These will be able to transmit up to 700MW of electricity, the equivalent of supplying power to around 450,000 homes, and also provide a direct fibre optic communications link between Ireland and France, according to EC.

The interconnector will also enable surplus renewable energy to be transmitted to other locations where there is high electricity demand.

A Feasibility Study for the project has already been successfully conducted with the support of CEF, according to EC.

The project is eligible for CEF funding as a Project of Common Interest (PCI), as it is considered essential to completing the EU’s internal energy market and for contributing to the provision of affordable, secure and sustainable energy in Europe.

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