Planning request filed for a massive electricity project linking Cork to France


The long-running Celtic interconnection project took a step forward today, as Eirgrid submits a planning request to An Bord Pleanála for the Cork-based project.

The interconnector, linking the Irish grid to that of France, will land at Claycastle Beach near Youghal in East Cork. From there, an underground cable will run inland on the national highway and continue on local roads east and north of Midleton to a converter station. This will be built in Ballyadam, on part of an IDA-owned site, east of Carrigtwohill.

The final connection will be by underground cable from Ballyadam to a substation on the national grid at Knockraha.

Some local residents have already expressed concerns about the road and in February it was confirmed that the road would bypass the villages of Castlemartyr and Killeagh.

Eirgrid said the aim of the Celtic Interconnector project is to improve the security of Ireland’s electricity supply by providing the only direct energy connection to an EU member state.

“The submission of this planning request for the Celtic interconnection is a critical step,” said Michael Mahon, director of infrastructure at EirGrid. “The delivery of this project will bring a number of benefits, including increasing the security of Ireland’s electricity supply by providing a connection to another EU country.

“It will also strengthen the Irish electricity grid and help us deliver a cleaner energy future by achieving the target of at least 70% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

“The Celtic Interconnector project has been developed over many years in consultation with affected communities along the route and we are grateful to everyone who has helped to help us reach this milestone.

An Bord Pleanála will assess the proposed project plan including landing, cable route, converter station, cable route and grid connection and associated technologies as part of the planning process.

A seven-week statutory consultation period will begin on July 19.

In addition to the on-shore planning request, a Foreshore license has been submitted for the offshore elements of the project in Ireland. This is a separate authorization process managed by the Foreshore Unit of the Ministry of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

A guide to participating in the planning process is available here.

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