October 3 (Renewables Now) - The European Commission (EC) will extend EUR 530 million (USD 580.4m) in grant financing for the Celtic Interconnector, a roughly 700-MW link that will connect the Irish and French power grids.
The EUR-1-billion project is being developed by Irish state-owned electric power transmission operator EirGrid Plc and France's transmission system operator RTE. It envisages the construction of a roughly 575-km (357-mile) subsea connection network across the Irish Sea to the North West coast of France that will carry electricity for about 450,000 homes.
The construction of the proposed link could start as early as 2022 and be completed by 2026, the Irish government announced on Wednesday. According to it, the project is expected to help Ireland achieve its goal for a 70% renewables share in the total power mix by 2030. The target was set this summer as part of the government's latest Climate Action Plan.
When constructed, the Celtic Interconnector will be Ireland’s only power link with mainland Europe once Britain exits the European Union (EU) and will give the country access to the European Internal Energy market. “The Celtic Interconnector will help to lower electricity prices, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide greater energy security," commented Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.095)