Former ESB chief joins Ireland-Great Britain interconnector project

MaresConnect Limited, the company behind the interconnector that will link the power markets of Ireland and Great Britain, has appointed former chief executive of ESB Pat O’Doherty as chairman and non-executive director of its board.

MaresConnect Limited
Source: MaresConnect Limited

MaresConnect Interconnector will comprise a cable route of approximately 245 kilometers under the sea and underground between Dublin in Ireland and Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire in Wales. 

The 750 MW electricity link is being developed by Foresight Group’s energy transition fund, Foresight Energy Infrastructure Partners (FEIP), and Etchea Energy.

“MaresConnect is critical and much-needed energy infrastructure for both Ireland and the UK. In Foresight Group and Etchea Energy, we have the scale, commitment, and capability to make this project a real success for all stakeholders,” said O’Doherty.

“I am very pleased to join the Board of MaresConnect Limited as Chairman, and I very much look forward to working with the Board and Management to bring this project to fruition”.

O’Doherty was chief executive of the Electricity Supply Board (ESB), Ireland’s state-owned electricity utility, between 2011 and 2021.  

Before this appointment, O’Doherty headed up each of ESB’s main businesses as executive director ESB International, managing director ESB Networks and executive director ESB Power Generation.

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MaresConnect is an integral part of the MARES project, which aims to integrate 1,750 MW of new renewable energy sources and 6 GWh of pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) in Mayo in the west of Ireland to the GB and SEM networks, as well as provide increased interconnector capacity and voltage stability.

The project has secured an interconnector license from Ofgem and a 750 MW grid connection agreement at National Grid’s Bodelwyddan substation.

MaresConnect Limited intends to apply for Initial Project Assessment status in Ofgem’s third cap & floor window which closes on 31 October.

Following the current development, the interconnector is expected to have a three-year construction program leading to operations in 2027.