Developer of Ireland-Wales power line welcomes consultation

Government seeking views on future electricity interconnection

Element Power plans to spend €500 million on Greenlink, an electricity line tying Wexford with Wales. Photograph: iStock

Element Power plans to spend €500 million on Greenlink, an electricity line tying Wexford with Wales. Photograph: iStock

 

The developer of a €500 million power line between the Republic and Wales has welcomed news of a Government consultation into electricity interconnection policy.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE) this week began seeking submissions on future policy governing electricity interconnection between the Republic, UK and the EU.

Element Power, which plans to spend €500 million on Greenlink, an electricity line tying Wexford with Wales, welcomed the news.

Chief executive, Mike O’Neill, who is addressing Wednesday’s Irish Renewable Energy Summit in Dublin, noted that the Government recognised that greater interconnection was important to security of electricity supplies and cutting prices.

“We also welcome the DCCAE’s recognition that solid policy is vital to underpin investment that will benefit the economy,” he said.

The department consultation will look at issues such as EU interconnection targets and how proposed projects should be evaluated.

Common interest

The EU recently designated Greenlink and Celtic, a proposal for an €800 million link between the Republic’s south coast and France, as projects of common interest.

This will qualify them for some cash support from Brussels and help to advance the projects through planning.

Following the UK’s planned exit from the EU, the Republic will no longer have a direct connection to any other electricity grid in the bloc.

Currently there is one power line running between the east coast and north Wales.

Interconnection should in theory boost competition and help lower electricity prices for consumers and businesses.