The project Celtic interconnector, which will link the French and Irish electricity grid, has recently been awarded a €4 million grant from the European Commission. The feasibility study of the project was carried out with the support of the EU’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). Eirgrid and French grid operator Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTÉ) together will be executing this project. This will allow the power to flow in both directions within the two countries.
When completed, the Celtic Interconnector will have 600 kilometres of cables laid on the seabed between France and Ireland. These cables will have the capacity to transmit up to 700 MW of electricity, which is equivalent to the consumption of around 450,000 homes. They will provide a direct fibre-optic communications link. The major advantage of this interconnector is that it will transmit the surplus renewable energy generated in either of the countries, say during the sunny or windy weather of the respective locations, to the needy ones during the time. The project will also allow both nations to have an easy trade of electricity.
The European Commission expects this type of interconnection to be a very highly integrated European electricity system, facilitating the movement of electricity within the European Union. It will also allow the electricity to reach the markets and users in other countries, where there is a maximum need for it, and excess generation is utilized.
The Celtic Interconnector has invested €3.9 million to date, and another €4 million has been approved for ongoing and future studies; the Interconnector is expected to go operational by the year 2025. Designated as the Project of Common Interest (PCI), this ambitious project between the two countries is expected to open a new avenue in the European electricity market. It would also facilitate better usage of the excess generated renewable energy.