The referendum in UK which approved Brexit in June 2016 has caused important consequences to financial, economical and social issues. Not only. Also from the electrical market and the electrical system come some news. Today we’re talking about the Celtic Interconnector, the HVDC realized with an submarine cable between Ireland and France. The cable won’t go through the UK territory; it will link directly Ireland to France.
The Celtic Interconnector is not only an electrical link but it will also provide optical fiber to Ireland. The project is considered an European “Project of Common Interest” (PCI); the European Commission has allocated €4 millions.
The submarine link
A series of joint studies into the feasibility of the interconnector have been carried out in order to find the best places in which realize the connection and for the cable’s submarine path. The Celtic Interconnector will link Cork in Ireland to Lannion, France. The submarine path will be 500 km long; the total length of the cable will be of almost 600 km. The cable will transmit 700 MW of power between the two states. This energy is equivalent to the electrical consumption of 450 000 houses. As a consequence of this, Irish electrical rates will lower, due to the participation of Ireland to a bigger and competitive energy market. Moreover, the renewable energy produced in Ireland will be completely used, avoiding bottlenecks.
Realization of Celtic Interconnector is controlled by the TSOs (Transmission System Operator) of the two states: the French Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) and the Irish Eirgrid. The technology employed is the HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current), an electrical link in direct current with high voltage. This solution has been used in other similar situations. The voltage level will be 320 kV oe 500 kV. On the two banks, stations to the arrival of the cable will be prepared. There will be a DC/AC station conversion, in order to link the submarine cable to the HVAC transmission grid.
The project development
The Celtic Interconnector is part of the 25 projects selected among the “Electricity Highways” (e-Highway 2050). These projects will lead to the development of the new European Electrical Grid, in view of the transition to a low carbon energy future within 2050. The Celtic Interconnector’s idea was born in 2009, but its development increased in 2015, before the UK referendum. If the project goes ahead, the interconnector would go live in 2025-26. In this video the advantages of the realization of the link are presented