A new undersea cable link from Ireland to Britain was opened last week that will enable Britain to benefit from Ireland’s wind resources.
The EirGrid East West Interconnector is the first electricity link from Ireland to Britain, costing 600 million euros. When complete, it will be able to transport enough power to supply 300,000 homes.
The cable runs between Deeside in North Wales and County Meath in Ireland, and is a two way 260km, 500 mw capacity underground and undersea cable.
“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.
This new link marks a step towards the ‘European Supergrid’ which will allow renewable energy to be transmitted across the region.