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New Power Submarine Cable Connects Ireland with France

Dublin, Ireland / Paris, France - After the Brexit is completed, Ireland will no longer have a direct electricity connection with the EU internal market. But this is to change with a new direct current connection between Ireland and France. An electricity link between Scotland and Norway is also close to the finish line.

The Irish grid operator EirGrid and the French state-owned Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE) have signed an agreement, to build a direct current link between the two countries. The cost of the 700 MW submarine cable between Ireland and France amounts to one billion euros, of which the EU will pay 530 million euros under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Energy Programme.

The power link (Celtic Interconnector) between southwest Ireland (East Cork) and French Brittany has a length of 575 km and is scheduled to come on stream in 2026. The project will facilitate the exchange of electricity between Ireland and continental Europe and at the same time stabilise future green electricity generation from Irish offshore wind farms.

While Ireland will receive a direct electricity connection with the European mainland, Scotland will be connected to Europe via Norway with the NorthConnect direct current link according to current plans. Norway already has an interconnector with Denmark, and another connection between Norway and Germany (NordLink) is currently being implemented.

The submarine cable connection between Peterhead (Scotland) and Simadalen (near Eidfjord, Norway) with a length of 650 and a capacity of 1.400 MW was already initiated in 2013. According to the timetable, the connection is to go into operation as early as 2022. The project partners are Marine Scotland and NVE (The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate). A recent NVE analysis from December 2019, commissioned by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (OED), concludes that NorthConnect is a "socially sustainable" project and will generate a socio-economic surplus of NOK 8.5 billion over its 40-year lifetime (2019-2040).



Source: IWR Online, 30 Dec 2019