Construction underway for first Ireland/continental Europe interconnector

Work has commenced on the Celtic Interconnector project connecting east Cork in Ireland to the north-west coast of Brittany, France.

The first interconnector between Ireland and continental Europe, the project will offer capacity to import and export enough electricity to power 450,000 homes. Construction is underway at Knockraha in east Cork, with subcontractor Sorensen Civil Engineering carrying out groundwork on behalf of cable manufacturer Nexans for EirGrid.

Nexans will design and install the 575km cable between the two countries, while Siemens Energy will deliver a converter station at Ballyadam, as well as high-voltage transmission technology required at the network connection point at Knockraha. Developed by EirGrid and its French counterpart, Réseau de Transport d’Electricité, the Celtic Interconnector is a 700MW high-voltage subsea power cable linking the electricity grids of Ireland and France.

Michael Mahon, EirGrid Chief Infrastructure Officer, said, “This transformative project is set to act as a catalyst in assuring Ireland’s energy security, along with delivering many other benefits, including applying downward pressure on the cost of electricity to consumers in Ireland and France.”