Ireland takes a step back to direct connection with EU market as Celtic Interconnector wins approval

Ireland’s EirGrid has welcomed a decision by the Irish planning authority, An Bord Pleanála, to grant approval for the Celtic Interconnector, the first direct interconnector between = Ireland and France.
The project, jointly developed by French network operator Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE), 2019, received €530 million in funding in 2019 under the European Commission’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which is intended to speed up key network links across the bloc’s energy markets. Ireland is currently a member of the EU’s Internal Energy Market (IEM) but since Brexit its connection has to pass through the GB, which is no longer a member of the market. Because of Brexit, the interconnectors between GB and the IEM now have more complex trading arrangements.
The project also requires a Foreshore Licence for the offshore elements of the project in Ireland, which has been submitted, and a marine licence from the UK Marine Management Organisation. Subject to securing these consents, it is expected the project will be built and energised by 2026.
The planning application to An Bord Pleanála for the Irish on-shore element of the Celtic Interconnector, which makes landfall in Youghal, was submitted last July.
EirGrid chief infrastructure officer, Michael Mahon, said: “This brings us one step closer to the many benefits this project will bring, including improving the security of electricity supply, helping to achieve our climate objectives and reducing the cost of electricity.
“A lot of people have been involved in this project and we recognise especially the input of communities in East Cork who have provided important feedback and engaged constructively with the project team.
“Our focus now moves to progressing the project to the construction phase, subject to the planning conditions. During this phase we will carry out ongoing detailed assessments and continue to engage with and listen to communities and stakeholders.”

Further reading
A Brexit conundrum for the electricity sector
Resilience: exploring the Brexit penalty

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