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EirGrid's French connection

4C Offshore | Chloe Emanuel
By: Chloe Emanuel 14/11/2023 EirGrid

EirGrid, the Irish national electricity grid operator, and Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE), the French grid operator, have officially signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at fortifying energy security, enhancing affordability, and diversifying energy supply in Europe.

Mark Foley, Chief Executive of EirGrid, and Xavier Piechaczyk, President of the managing board of RTE, convened at EirGrid’s headquarters in Dublin to formalize this landmark agreement.

The signing ceremony also commemorated the ongoing progress of the Celtic Interconnector, a submarine power cable interlinking the electricity grids of Ireland and France.

The MoU solidifies the commitment between EirGrid and RTE to collaboratively develop grid and system perspectives, tapping into the abundant offshore renewable energy resources. The mutual endeavor emphasizes the welfare and climate interests of both nations.

This partnership aims to establish a joint working group dedicated to advancing critical matters vital for achieving shared national and broader European ambitions for climate neutrality, emphasizing affordable, secure, and sustainable energy.

The MoU signifies a united effort by both TSOs, aligning with the European Union regulatory framework to bolster security of supply, diversify energy sources, meet national energy targets, promote renewable energy ambitions, and create new development opportunities for Ireland and France.

Moreover, this agreement mirrors a larger ambition supported by the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), promoting offshore projects spanning across the Atlantic Ocean. This collaborative effort among Ireland, Spain, Portugal, and France envisions offshore wind production capacities of 26 GW by 2040 and 54 GW by 2050.

The collaboration also aims to explore the potential for a new interconnection with Ireland, potentially hybrid, serving as a connection function for offshore wind power and facilitating electricity exchange between the two countries.
Commenting on this significant partnership, Mr. Foley highlighted the strides toward achieving climate goals and energy security, stating, “This collaboration with our French counterparts is pivotal in realizing our offshore renewable energy potential, bolstering energy security, and fostering an affordable and diversified energy system.”
He further emphasized the progress of the Celtic Interconnector and the transformative impact it will have on Ireland’s power system, enhancing resilience and efficiency.

Mr. Piechaczyk stressed the importance of this partnership in planning and developing energy generation and offshore grid networks, essential pillars for establishing a decarbonized European electricity network aligned with the EU’s commitments.

The signing of this MoU signifies a crucial step towards reinforcing energy ties between Ireland and France, envisioning a sustainable and interconnected energy future.


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