Scotland and Ireland are to examine the feasibility of constructing an offshore grid in the Irish Sea to link together potential sites for renewable energy generation.
The RPS Group will carry out the study on behalf of the Scottish Government, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment Northern Ireland and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources in Ireland.
The £1.6 million Irish Scottish Links on Energy Study (ISLES) will receive just under £1.5 million from the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, with the rest coming from the project partners.
The study will analyse the technology, construction, infrastructure, finance, planning and business issues associated with the construction of an electricity transmission network in the North Sea.
“The ISLES study will allow us to explore issues around an offshore transmission network in the Irish Sea and help make the case for commercial investment,” explains Scottish Energy Minister Jim Mather.
The project will complement the work of the Electricity Networks Strategy Group and feed into the plans for a European offshore supergrid, the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative, which was recently signed by the UK, Ireland, the Benelux countries, Sweden, Denmark, France and Germany, he says.
For further information:
Nine European countries sign up to North Sea supergrid (8-Dec 2009)
UK offshore wind connections to receive £300 million (3-Nov 2009)
UK and Norway to explore subsea electricity connection (8-Oct 2009)
11 January 2010