The decision by the European Commission to provide €530 million of funding to the Celtic Interconnector, a high-voltage electricity cable linking Ireland and France, has been broadly welcomed. An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar and Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton have confirmed a €530 million investment in the Celtic Interconnector by the European Commission to link Ireland with Europe’s energy grid.
The €1 billion Celtic Interconnector will connect Ireland’s electricity network to France via an underwater connection. Once built, its 700 megawatts capacity will power 450,000 households, and help Ireland to switch to 70% renewable energy as set out in the Government’s Climate Action Plan.

A vital part of Project Ireland 2040, the Interconnector is likely to drive down electricity prices for the consumer through increased competition and because Ireland will be able to join the European Internal Energy market, we can maintain higher levels of wind and renewable energy.
Once Britain leaves the EU, Ireland will have no electricity interconnection with any member of the European Union. By providing a direct electricity link with mainland Europe, Ireland will be connected to the EU’s Internal Energy Market post-Brexit.

EirGrid and RTE estimate it will cost in the order of €1 billion to build the interconnector which will provide Ireland’s first direct electricity link to Continental Europe. It will be able to import and export up to 700 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 450,000 homes, and will go live in 2026.

Denise Maguire        
Editor of Irish Construction Industry Magazine