EirGrid welcomes CRU Stakeholder Consultation on Celtic Interconnector

20 December 2018

EirGrid welcomes the stakeholder consultation by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities on their assessment of the investment request for the Celtic Interconnector.

As the state-owned operator and developer of the electricity transmission grid in Ireland, EirGrid is exploring a potential electrical connection between Ireland and France, using subsea cables, with a capacity of approximately 700 megawatts (MW), enough to power 450,000 households. 

The Celtic Interconnector would be the first direct energy link between Ireland and France, running from the south coast of Ireland to the north-west coast of France.

The project is being jointly developed by EirGrid, the Irish Transmission System Operator, and Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE), the Transmission System Operators in France, with both companies submitting an investment request to their relevant regulators. As part of the submission, EirGrid & RTE have requested the regulatory authorities decide on the cross-border allocation of Celtic’s investment costs between Ireland and France.

The paper published today by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities endorses the view that the Interconnector would drive benefits for both Irish and French consumers.

Mark Foley, EirGrid Chief Executive said, “We welcome the decision by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities to progress this project to stakeholder consultation. We encourage stakeholders to participate in the consultation process.”

“EirGrid is obliged to explore and develop opportunities for interconnection for Ireland.  We have, and continue to carry out rigorous studies and assessments on opportunities for connection, and are confident that the Celtic Interconnector will bring benefits to Ireland.” 

Approval of the investment request will pave the way for the continued development of the project, facilitating the Irish energy industry to play its part in the creation of a future low carbon, secure energy network throughout the EU. Once the United Kingdom leaves the EU the Celtic Interconnector will also be the only direct Irish energy connection to another member state.

The interconnector is expected to be completed in 2025 or 2026.

Ends

Contact David Martin on 085 603 0969 or Valerie Hedin on 087 951 6805 for further information.

Editor Notes:

  • A joint investment request was submitted to the national regulatory authorities in Ireland for the Celtic Interconnector project, a key European interconnection project being developed by EirGrid, the Irish Transmission System Operator, and Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE), the Transmission System Operators in France.
  • The European Commission views interconnection as key to a more integrated European electricity system and has invested €3.9 million in the project to date. A further €4 million has also been approved for ongoing and future studies.
  • The European credentials of the project include designation as a European Project of Common Interest.
  • PCIs are considered key in completing the European energy market and helping the EU achieve its energy policy and climate goals. Due to their strategic importance, PCI projects such as the Celtic Interconnector can benefit from improved regulatory conditions and EU financial assistance from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).