connecting the electricity grids of Ireland and France
The Celtic Interconnector project aims to create an electrical interconnection between France and Ireland to allow the exchange of electricity between the two countries. It is being developed by EirGrid, the electricity transmission system operator in Ireland, and its French counterpart, RTE (Réseau de Transport d’Électricité).
a European Project of Common Interest
To facilitate the movement of electricity flows on a European scale
To strengthen security of supply between countries
To support the development of a more sustainable electricity mix in France and in Ireland
To achieve its climate and energy goals, Europe needs to further develop cross-border electricity interconnections. The Celtic Interconnector project will help to meet these targets for interconnection which are key to the achievement of Europe’s energy transition. Through facilitating more renewable energy to come onto the network, interconnection will also help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with power generation in Europe.
Through a decision issued on the 14th of October 2013, the European Union recognised the France-Ireland interconnector as a Project of Common Interest (PCI). This was reconfirmed on the 23rd of November 2017. The EU also labelled the Celtic Interconnector as an e-Highway project in November 2015.
In addition, the project will also help to achieve plans to develop the French, Irish and European network (TYNDP-Ten Year Network Development Plan).
2. Does France need another connection (since France has already reached the 10% threshold of interconnections)?
Interconnection is seen as key to a more integrated European electricity system with the aim of completing the European energy market. In turn this is seen as important in order to help the EU achieve its energy policy and climate objectives of affordable, secure and sustainable energy for all citizens, as well as the long-term decarbonisation of the economy.
High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) is the only viable option given the distances needing to be covered.