Wind drives energy link between Ireland and Britain
A new undersea cable linking Ireland and Britain was opened last week that will enable the UK to benefit from Ireland’s wind resources.
The €600 million EirGrid East West Interconnector is the first electricity link between the two nations and will be able to transport enough power to supply 300,000 homes.
The two-way 260 km, 500 MW capacity underground and undersea cable runs between Deeside in north Wales and County Meath in Ireland.
“This new connection between our electricity grids will improve our mutual energy security, it will improve competition - bearing down on the price ultimately paid by consumers - and it will allow more of Ireland’s abundant wind energy access to the massive UK customer base,” commented UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey at the inauguration last week.
Chief executive of EirGrid, Dermot Byrne, who was joined by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, called the Interconnect the “single most important step” in enabling Ireland to exploit and export its renewable energy resources.
“Critically it also allows us to access energy from Britain and from across the European continent which will result in more competition to the energy market and put downward pressure on prices,” he added.
The new link between Ireland and the UK’s national grid marks a step towards the goal of a European ‘supergrid’ enabling renewable energy to be transmitted across the region.