Irish transmission operator EirGrid has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with French counterpart Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) for the design and pre-consultation phase of the proposed €1bn ($1.10) Celtic interconnector project.
With approximately 700MW capacity, the transmission project involves development of 600km sub-sea electricity cable to allow electricity flow between the two countries by 2025.
EirGrid CEO Fintan Slye said: “It will improve security of supply on the island of Ireland and increase competition, driving down prices for customers.”
Prior to agreeing on the latest phase of the project, the firms completed five-year feasibility studies.
Over a two-year period, EirGrid and RTE will undertake in-depth economic assessment of the project; technical studies and initial technical design specifications; environmental studies; and pre-consultation in preparation for permit in France and Ireland.
The partners will also assess the landing points for a subsea cable and connection points to the electricity transmission grids in the two countries.
Based on results from the initial design and pre-consultation phase, EirGrid and RTE will decide whether to move ahead with the next development phase.
In addition to improving security of electricity supply in Ireland and France, the subsea link would increase competition in the all-island Single Electricity Market while supporting the development of renewable energy, particularly in Ireland.
RTE board chairman François Brottes said: “This project shows the importance of the cooperation between transmission system operators for the success of the energy transition and for the development of the European Energy community.”
Image: Officials from RTE and EirGrid during MoU signing. Photo: courtesy of EIRGRID PLC.