S.2. Internal Energy Market


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France and Ireland ask EU funding for Celtic Interconnector

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

The 500 kilometre cable with the capacity to power half a million homes will stretch between Brittany and southern Ireland, and cost in the realm of €900 million.

In an open letter sent to President Juncker, the leaders of France and Ireland asked the EC to back their request for €667 million to finance the construction of the Celtic Interconnector project, with funds provided by the Innovation and Network Executive Agency (INEA).

The cable is projected to cost approximately €900 million and will be capable of transmitting 700 MW. In addition, the cable will also carry a fibre-optic link.

The two leaders expressed the importance of connecting Ireland with mainland Europe in light of the UK’s impending exit from the EU. Currently, Ireland is connected to mainland Europe only via the UK.

EDF and EirGrid have already agreed to a cost-sharing agreement that would allocate 65% of the costs of the project to Ireland, with France supporting the remaining 35%.

Since 2013, the Celtic Interconnector has been listed as a Project of Common Interest (PCI). In July 2017, the EC also agreed to contribute €4 million for preliminary studies into the project’s viability. If all goes to plan, the interconnector will become operational in 2026, making a massive contribution to French and Irish interconnection targets, which are set at a minimum of 15% by 2030.