agreement signed for the future connection between France and Ireland

published on Friday, November 25, 2022 at 2:13 p.m

Paris and Dublin signed an agreement on Friday to launch the future “Celtic Interconnector” electrical interconnection that will link Ireland’s network to the European continent by 2026, France’s Ministry of Energy Transition announced.

This 700 MW high voltage submarine link will connect the south coast of Ireland to the north of France, over a distance of 575 km, enabling the direct exchange of electricity and, in particular, for Ireland to export electricity produced by offshore wind turbines.

This “Ireland’s first interconnection with continental Europe (…) will enable it to import and export enough electricity to power 450,000 households,” the ministry said in a joint press release with Irish authorities, the European Investment Bank and grid operators. .

The interconnection will connect the town of La Martyre in Brittany with the village of Knockraha in County Cork in Ireland.

This connection is part of the context of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, while Ireland has so far only been associated with its British neighbour.

The infrastructure “will contribute to securing French and European electricity supplies and will accelerate the use of renewable energy sources throughout Europe,” said the Minister of Energy Transition Agnès Pannier-Runacher, quoted in the press release.

“This means we can import energy from Europe when we need it and, most importantly, we can also export energy, especially as we begin to realize the huge potential of our offshore wind capacity,” welcomed Eamon Ryan, Ireland’s environment minister. .

The two ministers and Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin were in Paris this Friday for the signing of the technical and financial agreements.

The agreements provide for construction with Siemens Energy and Nexans, the French cable manufacturer, and for a financial contribution of €800 million from the European Investment Bank, Danske Bank, Barclays and BNP.

The project, developed by EirGrid and RTE, the two public electricity transmission operators of Ireland and France respectively, with work to commence in 2023 and commissioning in 2026, has a total cost of €1.623 billion.

The project, co-funded by Europe, was reconfirmed this month despite a budget slippage due to difficulties in supplying cables and stations.

This interconnection “will use 320 kV HVDC (high voltage direct current) technology, using a 500 km submarine cable and a 40 km underground land cable in Brittany and a further 35 km in County Cork,” explains Nexans.

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