The long-mooted Celtic Interconnector Project has taken a step forward today, as Eirgrid submit a planning application to An Bord Pleanála for the Cork-based project.
The interconnector, linking Ireland's grid to that of France, will make landfall at Claycastle Beach near Youghal in East Cork. From there an underground cable will run inland on the national road and continue on local roads to the east and north of Midleton to a converter station. This will be built at Ballyadam, on part of an IDA owned site, to the east of Carrigtwohill.
The final connection will be by underground cable from Ballyadam to a substation on the national grid at Knockraha.
Some local residents have previously expressed concerns regarding the route and in February it was confirmed that the route would bypass the villages of Castlemartyr and Killeagh.
Eirgrid say the aim of the Celtic Interconnector Project is to improve the security of Ireland’s electricity supply by providing the only direct energy connection to an EU member state.
“The submission of this planning application for the Celtic Interconnector is a critical milestone," EirGrid Chief Infrastructure Officer, Michael Mahon said. "The delivery of this project will bring a number of benefits, including increasing Ireland’s security of electricity supply by providing a direct connection to another EU country.
"It will also strengthen the Irish electricity grid and help us to deliver a cleaner energy future by reaching the target of at least 70% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“The Celtic Interconnector project has been developed over many years in consultation with affected communities along the route and we are grateful to everyone who has contributed to helping us reach this milestone.”
An Bord Pleanála will assess the proposed project plan, including landfall, cable route, converter station, cable route and network connection and associated technologies as part of the planning process.
A seven-week period of statutory consultation will commence on July 19.
In addition to the on-shore planning application, a Foreshore Licence has been submitted for the offshore elements of the project in Ireland. This is a separate consenting process managed by the Foreshore Unit of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.
A guide to participation in the planning process please is available here.