MY Greenway could provide Opportunity for Eirgrid Interconnector

By Seamus Whelehan

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East Cork Municipal District Cllrs say last week’s announcement of funding for the Midleton to Youghal Greenway provides a great opportunity for Eirgrid to transmit electricity between Ireland and France.
Known as the Celtic Interconnector, the project is designed to trade electricity between Ireland and France in an effort to access cheaper electricity in mainland Europe.
Cllr Michael Hegarty told Monday’s Sitting of the East Cork Municipality that he was strongly urging the State owned body to considered Youghal as a landfall site for its €1 billion submarine cable between Ireland and France.
“While a number of areas are being shortlisted for the location of a Converter Station, the Ballyadam site should be actively perused”
He said the MY Greenway route would be ideal to lay the cable if the Converter Station was located at Ballyadam near Carrigtwohill.
The Fine Gael Cllr said “if this were to happen it would open up possibilities of getting foreign direct investment into the area, which we’ve been looking for over a long period of time, with no action being taken.”
Both Cllrs Susan McCarthy and Mary Linehan Foley said they were 100% behind Cllr Hegarty ’s proposal.
The Celtic Interconnector will be the first direct energy link between Ireland and France, running some 500 km under the sea from East Cork to the La Martine Brittany North-West France.
An additional 40 km of cable will be laid underground once it comes ashore.
Ballywilling strand near Ballycotton, along with Claycastle and Redbarn close to Youghal, have been shortlisted by Eirgrid for the continental interconnector.
While Ballyadam near Carrigtwohill, Leamlara, Knockraha, Pigeon Hill, Kilquane and Ballyvatta have been short listed for the construction of a Converter Station.
In 2013 electricity prices here fell by 9% when Eirgrids’ €570million East - West 500 mw Interconnector with Britain became operational.
The EU has a goal of reducing its greenhouse gasses, and increasing its consumption of renewable energy by 20%.
Renewable sources include wind, solar, hydro-electric and tidal power as well as geothermal energy and biomass.
Increased use of renewable energy will enable the EU cut its greenhouse emissions, and make it less dependent on imported energy.

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