Grid Link

When completed, this project will improve the security and reliability of the electricity supply to this region. It will also allow for greater use of renewable energy. 

In 2008, studies showed potential problems for transmission infrastructure in the south and east. Without improvement, this section of the grid would not meet future energy requirements.

In response to these three factors, EirGrid responded with an initial proposal. This solution aimed to maximise the long-term benefits of investing in transmission infrastructure. For this reason, we suggested the most established, secure and cost-effective technology – a fully overhead 400 kV HVAC line. This required a capital investment of €500-550m.

However, EirGrid is no longer recommending an overhead solution. It is now possible to consider alternative solutions, due to a number of factors: Lower forecasts for energy demand, upgrades to existing lines, and technological change

Why is this project needed?

There are three factors that drive the need for this project. 

Security of supply

There are heavy power flows throughout the Irish network. Despite recent drops in electricity demand, existing energy use still creates a risk to security of supply in the south and east of the country. 

Integrating renewable energy

The Irish government committed to the EU that 40% of electricity generation would come from renewable sources by 2020. To achieve this target, EirGrid needs to connect significant levels of renewable energy in the south and east. As a result, we must improve the transmission grid in this area. We can then bring this new power from renewable sources and supply it to the entire country.

Finally, it's important to note EirGrid's legal obligation to connect electricity generators. As the national electricity transmission system operator for Ireland, we have a statutory function. Subject to direction from the regulator, this statute requires us to offer a connection to the grid for those who request it. When an electricity generator accepts our connection offer, we have to meet their needs. This means we are legally required to develop the grid in response to plans for new electricity generation, such as wind farms.

Future interconnection

In partnership with our French counterpart, EirGrid is considering an electricity interconnector with France. This would give Ireland direct access to the mainland European electricity market. This would create opportunities to import and export electricity, which strengthens our energy security. It is important to stress that there will be no decision on a French interconnector for some time. Private developers are also exploring interconnection from the South East to Great Britain. 

What are the benefits of this project?

When completed, this project will improve the security and reliability of the electricity supply to this region. It will also allow for greater use of renewable energy. This will help Ireland’s energy independence, and help address EU targets that lower our ability to use fossil fuels. Finally, this project is essential to allow for a potential connection to the French electricity grid. If this was to happen, it would significantly increase the options for importing and exporting energy. This would benefit every electricity user in Ireland through lower costs, and increased security of supply.