Ireland and France Seek EU Financing for Celtic Interconnector
Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar and President of France Emmanuel Macron have submitted a joint request to the European Commission seeking financial support for the Celtic Interconnector electricity link between Ireland and France.
The Taoiseach and President Macron have co-signed a letter before the European Council meeting in Brussels, requesting Jean-Claude Juncker’s support for the grant application.
The Celtic Interconnector will provide the first direct link between Ireland’s electricity network and mainland Europe, which will be vital for the post-Brexit landscape, the Irish government said. The Taoiseach and President Macron pledged to pursue the project at their recent bilateral meeting in Paris.
''The Celtic Interconnector will help to reduce electricity prices, support climate action, and provide greater energy security for Ireland. Our two countries are working together to seek EU funding for 60% of the overall €1 billion cost of the project, with the balance coming from commercial revenue,'' Taoiseach Varadkar said.
''I’m delighted that France has agreed to join Ireland in making this grant application, and I particularly want to thank President Macron for his personal support. This demonstrates the ever-closer relationship between Ireland and France, which will be Ireland’s closest EU neighbour when the UK leaves. I also welcome the excellent co-operation between the Irish and French national regulatory authorities.''
The Celtic Interconnector will consist of around 575km of cables, 500km of which would be installed subsea. These will be able to transmit up to 700MW of electricity and also provide a direct fibre optic communications link between Ireland and France. The interconnector will also enable surplus renewable energy – generated, for example, in very sunny or windy weather – to be transmitted to other locations where there is high electricity demand.
The developers of the project are RTE France and EirGrid.