France and Ireland eye 1-billion-euro power link
France/Ireland: France and Ireland plan to build a 1-billion-euro (USD 1.10 billion) power link to connect the two countries by 2025.
Ireland currently imports electricity from Britain via Northern Ireland but is looking for ways to increase its electricity supplies. The planned 600 km link will run between Brittany and the south coast of Ireland.
“The interconnector will improve security of supply on the island of Ireland and increase competition, driving down prices for customers,” Fintan Slye, EirGrid chief executive said in a statement.
French average spot prices on power exchanges were around 30 % cheaper than those in Britain last year, according to data from French power grid operator RTE.
If built, the 700 MW sub-sea cable could transport enough electricity to power around 450,000 homes, EirGrid said.
The project has been at the planning stage for several years but on Thursday moved to an initial design and pre-consultation phase launched by Ireland’s prime minister Enda Kenny and French President François Hollande during his visit to Ireland.
EirGrid said this phase would take around two years and include an economic, technical and environmental assessment of the project.
If a decision was taken to move forward with the project it could be carrying electricity between the two countries by 2025, Eirgrid said.