Irish and French national grids sign interconnector deal – The Irish Times

The Irish and French national grids signed key deals for an electricity line connecting the two countries on Friday.

National grid operator, Eirgrid, and its French counterpart, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) are building a power line between Cork and Brittany, dubbed the Celtic Interconnector.

The pair signed contracts with French manufacturer Nexans, which will design and build the 575km cable between the two countries.

Similarly, they completed a deal with engineering giant, Siemens, to build converter stations in the Republic and France, which are needed to transmit the power between the cable and each country’s national grid.

The European Investment Bank, Danske Bank, Barclays and BNP will provide €800 million to the Celtic Interconnector.

The EU has already pledged a €530 million grant to the interconnector under a scheme to encourage member states’ national grids to connect with each other.

The Celtic Interconnector will carry 700 mega watts of electricity, close to the capacity of two average-sized power plants, between both countries.

Mark Foley, Eirgrid chief executive, said the project was a key part of the State company’s strategic goals.

“Interconnection with France makes the power system more resilient and efficient and allows renewables to become the primary energy source on the national grid,” he explained.

Ambroise Fayolle, European Investment Bank vice president, noted that investment in cross-Border electricity interconnectors was essential to meeting climate and energy goals.

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