French connection: Eirgrid looks to build €1bn power line to France

Countries team up on Celtic Interconnector from Cork to Brittany

National grid operator Eirgrid has sought planning permission for a €1 billion power line linking the Republic with France.

State-owned Eirgrid and its French equivalent, Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE), are joining forces to build an electricity line, dubbed the Celtic Interconnector, from Cork to Brittany, that will carry 700 mega watts of power.

The national grid operator has formally applied to An Bord Pleanála for permission for the Irish elements of the interconnector, which will cost about €1 billion in total.

The Celtic Interconnector will tie the Irish electricity system to the broader European network, helping to cut energy prices in the longer term and providing extra sources of supply.


Claycastle Beach

The EU is providing €530 million of the cash needed for the interconnector under a scheme designed to aid such developments, known as projects of common interest.

According to Eirgrid, the interconnector will make landfall at Claycastle Beach near Youghal, Co Cork.

From there an underground cable will run inland on the national road and continue on local roads to the east and north of Midleton to a converter station.

Eirgrid will build this on a site owned by development agency IDA Ireland at Ballyadam, close to Carrigtwohill, Co Cork.

Community consultations

The final connection will be by underground cable from Ballyadam to a substation on the national grid at Knockraha.

Eirgrid chief infrastructure officer Michael Mahon noted the project had been developed over several years in consultation with communities along its route.

“The submission of this planning application for the Celtic Interconnector is a critical milestone,” he said. “ The delivery of this project will bring a number of benefits, including increasing Ireland’s security of electricity supply by providing a direct connection to another EU country.”

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas