The long-planned Celtic Interconnector has moved a a step closer to construction today, as the Irish and French energy suppliers involved signed a joint application for European Commission funding.
The two companies, EirGrid and its French counterpart Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTÉ) are submitting a request for funding under the Commission’s 2019 Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy Programme.
The Celtic Interconnector is a proposed high-voltage sub-sea electricity cable that will enable the movement of power between Ireland and France. It would provide Ireland’s first direct electricity link to Continental Europe.
The request for funding is being signed by Mark Foley, chief executive of EirGrid, and Francois Brottes, Chairman of the Executive Board of RTÉ, at a ceremony in Midleton this morning.
An Tánaiste Simon Coveney, France’s Minister for Ecology Francois de Rugy and Richard Bruton, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, are in attendance.
The interconnector will be able to import and export up to 700 megawatts of electricity, the equivalent of supplying power to around 450,000 homes EirGrid is currently running an eight-week public consultation on the project. It is seeking feedback on three possible landfall locations on the coast of East Cork for the cable. It was also seeking feedback on a shortlist of six proposed location zones for a converter station in East Cork. The consultation runs until June 10.
There is €750 million of funding available to finance projects under the 2019 CEF Energy Programme. Projects must aim to meet a number of aims, including ending energy isolation and enhancing the Union's security of supply The ceremony follows the signing on Tuesday in Brussels by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and France’s President Emmanuel Macron of a letter offering their respective Governments’ support for the project.