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Power link with Wales set to cut electricity bills

A €600m link between Ireland and Wales, which could lead to cheaper electricity prices, is on target for completion in two years.

EirGrid said that subject to receiving the necessary permission, the 500 MW East West Interconnector will meet its scheduled date of the third quarter of 2012.

The Interconnector, around 260km long, will carry enough power to supply 300,000 homes or around 10pc of peak daily electricity demand for Irish homes.


In an update on progress, EirGrid said that the Interconnector will enable two-way transmission of power -- giving Ireland the opportunity of exporting renewable power.

An Bord Pleanala's Strategic Infrastructure Board has granted permission for the location and construction of a converter station in Woodland, Co Meath, and the installation of underground cables, mainly on public roads, to the coast at Rush, Co Dublin, around 45km in length and in the seabed out to the foreshore limit.

Flintshire County Council in Wales has also granted planning permission to construct an electricity converter station at Shotton near Deeside in North Wales, along the route of the A548 motorway.

EirGrid said it has liaised with the authorities over the route "to ensure traffic disruption during construction is kept to a minimum".

The project has also secured licences under the Food and Environment Protection Act and the Coast Protection Act.

They licence EirGrid to install the East West Interconnector from the UK High Water Mark to the UK/Ireland median line, approximately 125km of route.


The Environment Agency of Wales has also given its consent to the project, while there is also Crown Estate Agreement, which reserves the required strip of approximately 100km x 500m wide of UK foreshore.

The EirGrid project has also been granted a loan of up to €300m from the European Investment Bank.

The balance of the Interconnector will be funded by a combination of further capital investment from commercial banks, EirGrid equity and a €110m grant from the EU Commission for interconnection.