Irish authorities approve subsea power link to France


EirGrid has revealed that Ireland's national independent planning body, An Bord Pleanála, has granted approval for a high-voltage link it is developing with French grid operator Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE).

The two grid operators aim to build the “Celtic Interconnector” subsea link between Ireland and France. EirGrid submitted the planning application for the project in July.

“This followed a series of technical assessments, consultations and engagement with the local community that took place over the preceding years. The planning application included a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Report and Natura Impact Statement,” it said. “An Bord Pleanála assessed the proposal, including the landfall in Youghal, cable route, converter station and network connection and associated technologies. The board also ran a seven-week period of statutory consultation.”

The project still needs to secure a marine license from the UK Marine Management Organisation. It will also need to obtain a foreshore licence from the relevant Irish authorities.

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“Subject to securing these consents, it is expected the project will be built and energized by 2026,” EirGrid said.

The European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy Programme is supporting the project with €530 million ($566.5 million) of funding. If it is built, the submarine cable would be the first interconnector to exist between the two countries. The 700 MW high-voltage direct current submarine power cable should be deployed between the southern coast of Ireland and the northwestern coast of France.

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