EirGrid welcomes €3.8m EU funding for Ireland-France electricity interconnector
28 July 2015
Electricity grid operator EirGrid has welcomed the announcement that it is to receive €3.8 million in EU funding. The investment will go towards EirGrid’s joint feasibility study into an electricity interconnector with France – the Celtic Interconnector – which is being carried out with the French grid operator, Rte.
The results of the feasibility study are due from mid-2016, at which point a decision on whether or not to proceed with the Celtic Interconnector will be made.
“We have been in touch with the European Commission on this study from the beginning and we are delighted with the allocation of €3.8 million in funding,” said EirGrid chief executive Fintan Slye.
“Part of EirGrid’s role is to explore interconnection with other EU countries, in order to ensure security of supply and drive down prices through increased competition. An interconnector with France is the strongest prospect after an interconnector with Britain, which we have already constructed.
“A decision on whether or not to proceed with the Celtic Interconnector is expected from mid-2016. Today’s European funding will continue to ensure that we carry out the strongest feasibility study possible,” Slye added.
Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Alex White described the allocation of the European funding as a “welcome endorsement of EirGrid’s work towards interconnection”.
“Interconnection is a key EU target in the energy sector and is particularly important from an energy security perspective for poorly interconnected member states such as Ireland, and in order to ensure that we avail fully of the benefits of an integrated energy market. I look forward to the results of the Celtic Interconnector feasibility study in a year’s time,” he said.