EirGrid submits planning application for Celtic interconnector

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 12/07/2021 EirGrid
EirGrid has reached an important milestone in the Celtic interconnector project with the submission of a planning application to An Bord Pleanála.

The 320 kV
Celtic Interconnector will be the first direct link between Ireland’s electricity network and mainland Europe. The 600 km link will be partly developed by French and Irish TSOs, RTE and EirGrid. The €1 billion project received €530.7 million of support from the European Commission in 2019.

The planning application was announced a number of months ago, following a multi-year process of technical assessments and engagement with the local community. The application includes a full Environmental Impact Assessment Report and Natura Impact Statement, as well as other plans and particulars.

The interconnector will make landfall at Claycastle Beach near Youghal in East Cork. From there an underground cable will run inland on the national road and continue on local roads to the east and north of Midleton to a converter station. This will be built at Ballyadam, on part of an IDA-owned site, to the east of Carrigtwohill.

The final connection will be by underground cable from Ballyadam to a substation on the national grid at Knockraha.

Commenting in the submission of the planning application, EirGrid Chief Infrastructure Officer Michael Mahon said: “The submission of this planning application for the Celtic Interconnector is a critical milestone. The delivery of this project will bring a number of benefits, including increasing Ireland’s security of electricity supply by providing a direct connection to another EU country. It will also strengthen the Irish electricity grid and help us to deliver a cleaner energy future by reaching the target of at least 70% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

"The Celtic Interconnector project has been developed over many years in consultation with affected communities along the route and we are grateful to everyone who has contributed to helping us reach this milestone.”

An Bord Pleanála will assess the proposed project plan, including landfall, cable route, converter station, cable route and network connection and associated technologies as part of the planning process. A seven-week period of statutory consultation will commence on 19th July.

In addition to the onshore planning application, a foreshore licence request has been submitted for the offshore elements of the project in Ireland. This is a separate consenting process managed by the Foreshore Unit of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

For more information on interconnector projects worldwide, click here. Alternatively you can projects on 4C Offshore's interactive map.