Memorandum of Understanding sets out cooperation to increase renewable energy development, electricity interconnection and strengthen and diversify energy supply between Ireland and France.
November 13, Dublin, Ireland – The chief executives of the Irish and French national electricity grids met today, Monday, to sign a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which sets out aims to strengthen energy security, build on an affordable energy system and diversify energy supply in Europe, through joint cooperation between both transmission system operators (TSOs).
Mark Foley, Chief Executive of EirGrid, Ireland’s electricity grid operator and Xavier Piechaczyk, President of the managing board of French grid operator, Réseau de Transport d’Électricité (RTE), met at EirGrid’s head office in Dublin to sign the landmark agreement, and to recognise the continued delivery of the Celtic Interconnector, the sub marine power cable linking the electricity grids of both countries and to establish a commitment to exploring future opportunities between both grid operators.
The MoU was signed in the presence of Agnès Pannier-Runacher, French Minister of Energy transition and Eamon Ryan, Irish Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications.
The ‘Cooperation on Offshore Energy Interconnection’ between EirGrid, and RTE, marks the deepening of the existing relationship between the two organisations and is a statement of shared ambition to work together on grid and system development perspectives to harness the potential abundant offshore renewable energy resources in the welfare and climate interest. A joint working group will be established to progress these important matters so critical to the achievement of the shared national and wider European ambition for climate neutrality, supported by affordable, secure and sustainable energy.
The signing of the MoU signifies a joint cooperation between both TSOs in accordance with the European Union regulatory framework to improving security of supply, bringing diversification of energy sources, contributing to national energy targets, ambitions for renewable energy and creating new development opportunities for both Ireland’s and France’s economies.
More generally, this agreement reflects the ambition – supported by the work of the European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) to promote offshore projects across the Atlantic Ocean which brings together Ireland, Spain, Portugal and France – which could represent a capacity offshore wind production of 26 GW in 2040 and 54 GW in 2050. It also aims to assess the long-term interest of a new interconnection with Ireland, potentially hybrid, which would provide a part connection function, offshore wind power, in addition to the function of electricity exchange between the two countries.
Welcoming the announcement of the signing, EirGrid chief executive, Mark Foley said :
“Today marks a significant step on our journey to achieving our climate goals and greater energy security. Working alongside our French neighbours in establishing a strong commitment to realising both countries’ offshore renewable energy potential will deliver numerous benefits, including strengthening energy security and building an affordable and diversified energy system.
To date, we have worked closely in partnership with RTE, as we deliver the Celtic Interconnector. The Celtic Interconnector is a key part in EirGrid’s strategic goal to transform Ireland’s power system and increase security of supply. Construction has commenced on the cable in both countries, and, when delivered, will make the power system more resilient and efficient.
We look forward to an increased partnership with RTE as we work towards achieving our climate ambitions by exploring our offshore potential, and further energy interconnection.”
RTE’s Xavier Piechaczyk said : “This partnership aims to strengthen the cooperation between Rte and EirGrid with regard to the planning and development of the energy generation and the offshore grid network, which will be one of the key pillars required for the fastest possible establishment of a decarbonised European electricity network to which the EU is committed.”
Notes to editors
- The Government of Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2023 sets out the connection of at least 5 GW of offshore wind capacity to Ireland’s electricity transmission grid by 2030, with an additional 2GW sought for green hydrogen production.
- The Celtic Interconnector project will create an electrical interconnection between Ireland and France to allow the exchange of electricity between the two countries. The connection will link the existing electricity substation located in Knockraha (in east Cork) to the substation in La Martyre (Finistère, France).
- The Celtic Interconnector project construction phase is now underway and scheduled to complete in 2026.
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