State-owned electricity grid operator EirGrid has welcomed the announcement of €3.8 million EU funding earlier today.
The funding will go towards EirGrid’s joint feasibility study into an electricity interconnector with France, the Celtic Interconnector, which is being carried out with the French grid operator, Rte.
The results of the feasibility study are due from mid-2016, at which point a decision on whether or not to proceed with the Celtic Interconnector will be made. EirGrid Chief Executive Fintan Slye said “We have been in touch with the European Commission on this study from the beginning and we are delighted with the allocation of €3.8 million in funding. “Part of EirGrid’s role is to explore interconnection with other EU countries, in order to ensure security of supply and drive down prices through increased competition.
An interconnector with France is the strongest prospect after an interconnector with Britain, which we have already constructed. “A decision on whether or not to proceed with the Celtic Interconnector is expected from mid-2016.
Today’s European funding will continue to ensure that we carry out the strongest feasibility study possible.” Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White said “The allocation of €3.8 million in European funding is a welcome endorsement of EirGrid’s work towards interconnection, and we will continue to work closely with our partners in the EU. “Interconnection is a key EU target in the energy sector and is particularly important from an energy security perspective for poorly interconnected Member States such as Ireland, and in order to ensure that we avail fully of the benefits of an integrated energy market. I look forward to the results of the Celtic Interconnector feasibility study in a years’ time.”