Celtic Interconnector steps closer to reality with planning permission in place

The Celtic Interconnector project, a subsea link that will allow the exchange of electricity between Ireland and France, has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála, subject to a number of conditions.

Courtesy of Celtic Interconnector
Celtic Interconnector
Courtesy of Celtic Interconnector

The approval was welcomed by the Irish transmission system operator (TSO) EirGrid which is developing the interconnector in conjunction with the Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) in France.

According to Mark Foley, EirGrid’s chief executive, the project is critical for two reasons. The first reason is that the interconnector is vital for the security of supply. The second reason is that the project is a critical part of achieving the country’s goal to have 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

Foley added that the developers hope to be on-site by the end of this year, taking about three years to complete the construction of the subsea cable from Ireland to France.

To remind, EirGrid submitted the planning application for the Irish onshore element of the Celtic Interconnector to An Bord Pleanála last summer.

The application included a full Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Natura Impact Statement, as well as other plans and particulars.

In addition to the onshore planning application, a Foreshore Licence was submitted for the offshore elements of the project in Ireland, which is a separate consenting process managed by the Foreshore Unit of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

The interconnector will make landfall at Claycastle Beach near Youghal in East 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. This will be built at Ballyadam to the east of Carrigtwohill.

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

The link, which will be able to transmit up to 700MW of electricity and provide a direct fibre-optic communications link between the two countries, is scheduled to go live in 2026.

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