The start of construction work on the 700-MW Celtic Interconnector that will link the power grids of Ireland and France was officially marked on Monday by the Irish Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, and French Energy Minister, Agnes Pannier-Runacher.
The project, which will create a direct electricity connection from Ireland to the EU, is planned to be completed in 2026 with integration to the grid anticipated by 2027.
At the EirGrid offices in Dublin, Ireland and France also signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on Energy Transition Cooperation, signaling increased cooperation on onshore wind and solar development and a commitment to speeding up the deployment of offshore renewables and energy systems, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said.
The Irish and French transmission system operators EirGrid and Reseau de Transport d’Electricite (RTE) simultaneously signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate on enhancing energy security, building on an affordable energy system and diversifying energy supply in Europe.
The plans include establishing a joint working group and assessing the long-term interest of a new interconnection with Ireland, potentially hybrid.
“Working alongside our French neighbours in establishing a strong commitment to realising both countries’ offshore renewable energy potential will deliver numerous benefits, including strengthening energy security and building an affordable and diversified energy system,” said EirGrid chief executive Mark Foley.